Select Committee on Defence First Special Report

ANNEX G: Committee Recommendations: Progress (continued)

Third Report: Annual Reports for 1997 and 1998 on Strategic Export Controls (HC 225) Published: 11 February 200
Government Reply: Cm 4799 Published: July 2000

  Recommendations and undertakings Government Response Committee Response/Follow-up Further GovernmentAction Notes
1.That an annual debate on the Government's Annual Report on Strategic Export Controls and reports thereon by Select Committees, to be held on a substantive Motion (Paragraph 3). It is the intention to hold a debate this year, subject to availability of parliamentary time.         
2.That future Annual Reports include more data on the administrative performance of the Export Control Organisation and the other departments involved in the export licensing process, including the pre-licensing process. (Paragraph 8) Accepted.       
  Recommendations and undertakings Government Response Committee Response/Follow-up Further GovernmentAction Notes
3.That future Reports should return to the practice of the annual ECO Reports and record by category the reasons for refusals and revocation of standard and open licences, and reductions in the coverage of OIELs, as we have above, since this provides an instructive analysis of the nature of decisions taken. (Paragraph 16) Future Annual Reports will specify how many SIELs were refused/revoked for each of the main reasons set out in the criteria. Specific reasons for each individual decision will not be given. Reasons for decisions to refuse applications for OIELs or to amend their coverage will not be given.        
4.That summary details of appeals against refusals of a licence be published in the Annual Reports, showing in each case the outcome and the time elapsed between receipt of information from the appellant and determination of the appeal, as well as a brief description of the goods and end-user. (Paragraph 20). Government accepts the basis for the recommendation. Future Annual Reports will include information on appeals against a decision to refuse an application for a SIEL or to revoke a SIEL.         
  Recommendations and undertakings Government Response Committee Response/Follow-up Further GovernmentAction Notes
5.That the Annual Report contain details of the volume and nature of exports which have been licensed from overseas territories and Crown dependencies (Paragraph 43). Government will consider the desirability and practicality of including these details in future Annual Reports.        
6.That the 1999 Annual Report covers in full the implications for strategic export controls of detailed agreements reached as a result of the July 1998 Letter of Intent, and ask that it be demonstrated that there is nothing in those detailed agreements which undermines the UK or the EU regime on the control of the export of arms (paragraph 48) Framework Agreement resulting from the Letter of Intent has not yet been signed. If signature takes place before next Annual Report, details will be included.      Committee to examine Framework Agreement Treaty in Session 2000-01 (evidence taken 10 January 2001)
7.That future Annual Reports continue to review progress on small arms initiatives within multilateral fora and to provide details of activities funded by the Government in this area (paragraph 52) Accepted.       
Recommendations and undertakings Government Response Committee Response/Follow-up Further GovernmentAction Notes
8.The UK should press our EU partners to consider the publication of figures on the number of recognised cases of undercutting, preserving if necessary the anonymity of the countries concerned Accepted.       
9.That the Annual Report on the EU Code of Conduct be reproduced as part of the UK's Annual Report (Paragraph 55). Accepted.       
10.That future annual reports are also signed by the Secretary of State for International Development (Paragraph 61). Rejected.       
  Recommendations and undertakings Government Response Committee Response/Follow-up Further GovernmentAction Notes
11.That the Annual Report records the number of licence applications whose complexity or sensitivity required inter-ministerial discussion or correspondence (Paragraph 62) Rejected.         
12.Publication of a table for each country combining to a greater degree than at present information currently spread through several tables of the Annual Report, including information on actual exports (Paragraph 66). Basis for recommendation accepted. In future information on applications for SIELs and OIELs will be set out in a single entry for each destination. Information on actual exports will continue to be shown in separate part of the Annual Report.        
13.That henceforth summary descriptions be published of Military List goods for which a licence has been refused (Paragraph 69). Rejected. Government remains willing to provide Committees with details in confidence.        
  Recommendations and undertakings Government Response Committee Response/Follow-up Further GovernmentAction Notes
14.That in the next Report some indication be given of the numbers of items for which a licence has been given, if necessary as an approximation. (Paragraph 72) Annual Reports will in principle specify the number of items of military equipment covered by SIELs issued during the relevant period but not in cases where there is potential for harm in relation to commercial confidentiality or the legitimate security interests of recipient countries.        
15.That the total value of licences, issued in respect of each non-NATO country be given for each calendar year, founded on the values given on the applications, with an exception where the number is so small as to risk a breach of reasonable commercial confidentiality. (Paragraph 73) Basis for recommendation accepted. To preserve commercial confidentiality totals will be rounded up or expressed as a ceiling figure.       
  Recommendations and undertakings Government Response Committee Response/Follow-up Further GovernmentAction Notes
16.That end-user information be given unless either it is self-evident from the nature of the goods or there is good reason to believe that the licence would have been granted to other end-users in the country concerned. (Paragraph 74). Rejected. Information will continue to be provided in confidence to Committees.        
17.That the Annual Reports include details of ECGD support for defence exports in the most readily available period of 12 months . (Paragraph 77). Rejected. ECGD produces its own annual report.        
18.That the Annual Report includes a report of the activities over the year under review of the Defence Export Sales Organisation (paragraph 78) Information on performance of DESO in coordinating the process of export licence applications will be included in future Annual Reports.        

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