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8 Jan 2003 : Column 222W—continued

Christmas Expenses

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many departmental Christmas cards he and his Ministers intend to send in 2002; how much these cards will cost (a) to buy, (b) to post and (c) in staff time to sign, address and place in envelopes; and if he will place in the Library a sample copy of the official Christmas card he has sent this year. [88106]

Dr. Moonie [holding answer 19 December 2002]: Defence Ministers sent a total of 520 departmental Christmas cards. All expenditure incurred in the purchase and despatch of these cards was made in accordance with departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, based on the principles set out in Government Accounting.

The cards were purchased from The Royal Star and Garter Home, a charity for disabled ex-service men and women at an equivalent cost of 67p per card. A copy of the card used will be placed in the Library of the House.

It is estimated it took around four minutes of staff time to prepare each card for posting.

Defence Bills Agency

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total spending was of the Defence Bills Agency for the last year for which figures are available; and how much of that was spent in Scotland. [86061]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 10 December 2002]: The total value of Defence contractors' bills settled by the Defence Bills Agency for the year ending 31 March 2002 was #16,849 billion. Data on how much of this figure was spent in Scotland or any United Kingdom region is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Enron

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contracts the Department has placed with Enron since 1997. [87112]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence has not placed any contracts with Enron since 1997.

Eurofighter

Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with BAE Systems on the numbers of Eurofighter Typhoons projected to be in (a) Tranche 2 and (b) Tranche 3. [88224]

Mr. Ingram: We have regular discussions with BAE Systems on a wide range of issues associated with the Eurofighter Typhoon programme. The planned numbers of aircraft to be procured in Tranche 2 and Tranche 3 are set down in international memoranda of understanding between the four Typhoon partner

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nations and in the over-arching framework contracts placed with industry. For the United Kingdom these provide for 89 aircraft in Tranche 2 and 88 in Tranche 3.

Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the implications for the Eurofighter Typhoon project of developing an enhanced ground attack capability for the aircraft. [88225]

Mr. Ingram: The Eurofighter Typhoon will be a multi-role aircraft. Although primarily designed for air superiority, the aircraft will progressively benefit from enhanced ground attack capabilities as part of the planned procurement programme. The United Kingdom and other nations involved in the procurement will continue to keep under review the possibility of further enhancements to Typhoon's capability.

Gracemoor Consultants

Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the former employees of his Department who have taken up positions with Gracemoor Consultants, stating in each case the name and date of leaving. [82152]

Dr. Moonie: Under the Cabinet Office rules on the acceptance of outside appointments by Crown servants (Xthe Business Appointment Rules"), all Ministry of Defence non-industrial civilians and officers in the Armed Forces are required, within two years of leaving the Department, to apply for permission before taking up employment with an organisation connected with their official duties. Some of these applications are speculative and not all lead to external appointments being taken up. The rules require only senior officials whose applications are approved by the Prime Minister to confirm to their former department that they have taken up a new appointment on leaving the MOD. Details of such appointments are published by the Cabinet Office in the annual reports of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, copies of which are available in the Library of the House.

Green Ministers

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which Minister in his Department is the nominated Green Minister; how often he has attended meetings of the Green Ministers; and which official has responsibility for the Defra rural proofing check-list in his Department. [88455]

Dr. Moonie: I am the nominated Green Minister for the Ministry of Defence. The Green Ministers Committee (now ENV(G)) is a Cabinet sub-committee. It is established practice under Exemption 2 of Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information not to disclose information, including ministerial attendance, relating to the proceedings of the Cabinet and its committees.

A list of the names of departmental contacts, who meet regularly to discuss issues such as rural proofing, is not published as personnel and machinery of Government changes mean that any list would be out of date fairly quickly.

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Knightsbridge Barracks

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the result is of his investigation into circumstances of the shooting incident at Knightsbridge Barracks involving a civilian, Mr. Rajko Novakovic; who (a) issued and (b) owned the firearm; how many soldiers were involved in the incident; how many civilian complaints concerning the improper use of firearms have been received in the past five years; what disciplinary action has been taken following the conviction of trooper Adam Everett by Horseferry Road magistrates; what ranks of officer have apologised to Mr. Novakovic; and when trooper Everett offered an apology. [89254]

Dr. Moonie: The investigation into the shooting incident at Knightsbridge Barracks leading to the conviction of Trooper Adam Everett was conducted by the civilian police.

An internal investigation was conducted into the storage security of the firearm. The matter of internal disciplinary or administrative action now lies with the chain of command, and this properly remains a private matter between Trooper Everett and the Army. The matter of the soldier issuing an apology is also a private one between him and Mr. Novakovic.

The figures relating to the number of complaints concerning the improper use of firearms received by the Service relate to the period 1 January 1998 to 31 December 2002. Worldwide, a total of 16 incidents of offences against the person involving firearms, where there was a civilian complainant and the suspect was a Service person (this includes dependants and United Kingdom based civilians), were reported to Service Police. You may also wish to be aware that, during the same time frame, there were 27 complaints made of similar incidents where the complainants were Service persons (this includes dependants and UK based civilians) and the suspect(s) civilian. These figures include incidents both inside and outside of barracks, but do not include incidents leading to an individual being charged or investigated for murder or attempted murder.

Military Airfields

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what liaison takes place between his Department and (a) local hon. Members and (b) local authorities in the use of domestic military airfields when being used by the aircraft of a foreign power. [88321]

Mr. Ingram: Regular liaison takes place between RAF stations and local authorities. This includes notification of foreign aircraft activity, where it varies from the routine.

Members of Parliament are similarly advised of such non-routine activity by either my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence or myself.

Military Recruits

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost was per capita of training a

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successful military recruit to the agreed standard (a) in 1997 and (b) in the last 12 months; and what the difference was expressed in percentage terms. [88334]

Dr. Moonie: The information is not held in the format requested. However, the average cost of initial training for successful recruits is set out as follows:

#000

OfficerOther rank
1999–2000(1)
Royal Navy25.34.4
Royal Marine97.931.8
2001–02
Royal Navy31.16.9
Royal Marine10333

(1) RN/RM figures for 1997–98 and 1998–99 are not readily available


#000

OfficerOther rank
1997–98
Army40.65.6
RAF15.83.8
2001–02
Army52.67.3
RAF17.94.5

The 2001–02 costs were calculated on a resource basis (thus including overheads), whereas costs for previous years were only based on cash. It would, therefore, be inappropriate to make a percentage comparison between the two sets of figures. There are also significant differences between the services in the scope of initial training so that it is generally inappropriate to use these figures to make inter-service comparisons.


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