Letter to Dr Denis MacShane, Parliamentary
Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, from
the Chairman of the Committee
Thank you for appearing before the Committee
last Thursday. We found your evidence on the Green Paper very
useful and, as I mentioned in the session, the Committee intends
to produce its Report on Private Military Companies before the
August deadline for submissions.
In writing that Report, we would be greatly
assisted to receive further evidence, the need for which arises
from last week's exchanges. I hope that, to enable us to meet
your deadline, you will be able to provide answers to the following
points not later than Tuesday 2 July.
First, the Committee wishes to receive a list
of all current contracts between (1) the Foreign and Commonwealth
Office, (2) the Ministry of Defence, (3) the Department for International
Development, and (a) private military companies, (b) private security
companies for activities outside the United Kingdom. In respect
of each contract, the Committee wishes to know (i) the name of
the company, (ii) the country in which the company is operating
under the contract, (iii) the type of work on which the company
has been engaged under the contract, (iv) approximate expenditure
from public funds on the contract in the last financial year for
which figures are available, (v) the duration of the contract
and its value over its full life.
Second, the Committee appreciates that the table
at Annex A of the Green Paper originates from a non-Governmental
source, but I would be grateful if you would provide such further
information as is available to you on the following points, which
we touched on in the course of the oral evidence session: (1)
which Government is referred to in the entry on page 35 relating
to Sierra Leone and Sandline International in 1996; and (2) in
respect of which of the entries in relation to Sierra Leone for
which the "Recruited by" column is blank was the company
listed in the "Mercenaries involved" column acting under
contract to the United Kingdom Government? It would also help
the Committee if you were to clarify any other ambiguities which
appear to you to occur in or arise from the table.
I would have thought that answers to these questions
should be available "off the shelf", but in the event
that they cannot be answered as fully as the Committee would wish
before 2 July, I would prefer to receive then such information
as is available, rather than await a full reply which would arrive
too late to be of any use to the Committee.
I am copying this letter to Bruce George and
to Tony Baldry.
Donald Anderson MP
Chairman of the Committee
18 June 2002