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DEFENCE

Reservists

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether reservists will continue to be called out for operations in the Balkans and the region of Iraq. [50671]

Dr. Moonie: Two call-out orders have been made to enable reservists to continue to be called out into service to support operations in those regions. The first, made under section 54 of the Reserve Forces Act 1996, authorised the call out of members of the reserve forces to support operations in the region of Iraq. Its purpose is to continue the practice started in 1992 of calling out reservists, primarily specialists, to support the no-fly zone operations over north and south Iraq. At present 10 reservists are serving in the region. The second order was made under section 56 of the Act to allow reservists to be called into service to support operations in former Yugoslavia. Since 1995, when NATO operations commenced in former Yugoslavia, the reserve forces have provided some 10 per cent. of the total UK manpower in theatre. NATO's on-going study to find efficiencies for troop contributing nations will not be agreed or implemented in time to mitigate the present need. Both orders are effective until 31 March 2003.

Performance Targets

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what performance targets have been set for the Pay and Personnel Agency for the financial year 2002–03. [50672]

Dr. Moonie: The chief executive of the Pay and Personnel Agency is responsible for providing civilian pay, pensions and personnel information services for the Ministry of Defence as defined in the agency framework document. The agency will be set the following key performance targets for 2002–03:





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Meteorological Office

Mr. Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the Quinquennial Review of the Meteorological Office will take place. [50673]

Dr. Moonie: The Quinquennial Review of the Met Office will begin this month. The aim of the review is to examine how the Met Office has performed since its launch as a Trading Fund within the Ministry of Defence and to recommend whether, and if so what, measures should be taken in order to reinforce the office's delivery of cost-effective services to its customers and to ensure that full use is made of its scientific and human assets.

The review will proceed in two phases, in the first of which a number of "framework" issues will be examined, including whether the Met Office is best placed as a Trading Fund within the MOD to exploit its full potential and whether existing governance arrangements require adjustment. The report of this first phase of the review is expected in July.

In the second phase, the review will address, in the light of the answers to the "framework" issues examined in the first phase, a number of questions concerned with the operating efficiency of the Met Office, including the development of a more appropriate relationship between the office and its public sector customers, the scope for developing more commercial business opportunities, the potential for greater national and international co-operation in both meteorology and environmental services generally, and the scope for further streamlining of business processes both within the Met Office and between the office and its customers. The report of this second phase of the review is expected in October.

The review will be carried out by a small team, which will consult closely with the Met Office management and other stakeholders, including the office's customers. The MOD is interested also to hear the views of other organisations or individuals who would like to make a contribution to the review. Those wishing to do so should send their contributions to:


Frigates

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 4 March 2002, Official Report, column 34W, to the hon. Member for North Wiltshire

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(Mr. Gray), on which dates the Type 23s and Type 22s will be refitted with the 114mm Mark VIII Mod 1 gun. [49750]

Mr. Ingram: The 4.5 inch (114mm) Mark VIII Mod 1 gun has already been fitted to the Type 22 Batch 3 Frigate, HMS Cumberland and to the Type 23 Frigates, HMS Norfolk and HMS Iron Duke. HMS Marlborough and HMS Monmouth, both Type 23 Frigates, will be fitted with the updated gun during their current upkeep periods. It is currently planned that the remaining Type 22 Batch 3 and Type 23 Frigates will be fitted with the gun at a rate of two to three per year, during programmed maintenance and repair periods.

Unexploded Ordnance

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people have received compensation from the Ministry of Defence for injuries inflicted by unexploded ordnance; and how much that compensation has totalled in (a) 1997, (b) 1998, (c) 1999, (d) 2000, (e) 2001 and (f) 2002; and if he will make a statement. [49993]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence does not record separately those cases brought against the Department for injuries inflicted by unexploded ordnance. The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of (a) how many people are expected to receive compensation from the Ministry of Defence for injuries inflicted by unexploded ordnance in Kenya and (b) how much that compensation will total; and if he will make a statement. [49992]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence has received 173 claims for compensation from tribespeople allegedly injured as a result of unexploded ordnance in Kenya. The solicitor acting for the tribespeople has intimated that about 100 further claims would be submitted. These claims will be considered on the basis of whether or not the Ministry of Defence has a legal liability to pay compensation. It would be prejudicial at this stage of the

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legal proceedings to announce the Ministry of Defence's estimate of the number of claimants expected to receive compensation and the total level of such awards.

Porton Down

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many claims have been received by the War Pensions Agency from service personnel who took part in experiments at the Chemical Defence Establishment, Porton Down for compensation arising out of these experiments since 19 February 2001. [43442]

Dr. Moonie: Between 19 February 2001 and 31 March 2002, 41 claims for war pensions have been received from Porton Down service volunteers.

SA80

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what problems have been experienced with the modified version of the SA80. [46864]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 10 April 2002]: The modified SA80 is attracting excellent reports from units. Minor issues, common to any modification programme, have been identified and dealt with.

Defence Aviation Repair Agency

Mr. John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what action he plans to take if the Defence Aviation Repair Agency fails to meet its targets in the financial year 2001–02. [47882]

Mr. Ingram: In preparation for the Defence Aviation Repair Agency (DARA) achieving trading fund status on 1 April 2001, the agency's business plans and financial targets were subject to rigorous scrutiny by Ministry of Defence and Treasury officials.

The targets set for DARA in 2001–02 have been based on the business requirements of the agency's MOD customers and also on its abilities in winning new business from external commercial markets. I continuously assess and review DARA's performance against a number of key performance indicators (KPIs). These key targets were established following consultation with both the Treasury and National Audit Office.

The targets cover:

Key performance indicatorDescription
1. QualityTo equal baseline performance against a financial year 2000–01 benchmark (based on fault reports)
2. Return on capital employedTo achieve a 6 per cent. return on capital employed (ROCE)
3. Reduction in unit production priceTo achieve a 2 per cent. reduction in unit production price
4. Increase in order intakeTo achieve a 100 per cent. increase in order intake from financial year 2000–01 baseline
5. Increase in commercial revenueTo achieve a 15 per cent. increase in commercial revenue from financial year 2000–01 baseline

At the last ministerial advisory board, the assessment presented to me indicated that most of the targets for 2001–02 were likely to be met or exceeded. It is too soon, however, to be able to provide accurate details or figures until later this year, once the end of year results are collated.The targets set for 2002–03 are now in the process of being agreed with DARA.


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