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8 Dec 2003 : Column 270W—continued

Armed Forces Staffing Levels

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how the findings of the End to End Review will affect staffing levels within the armed forces; whether there will be forced redundancies; and if he will make a statement. [142176]

Mr. Ingram: I announced the completion of the End to End Review in a statement on 10 September 2003. The E2E recommendations must now be trialled, proven and subjected to financial evaluation and formal Trades Union consultation before implementation. The lessons from recent and on-going operations will also be considered.

Arms Trafficking (Waiver Agreement)

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what measures have been taken to satisfy the US Administration about the security of information to be provided to UK companies and the British Government under the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations waiver agreement; and when he expects the waiver to come into effect. [141266]

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Mr. Hoon: The terms of our proposed agreement with the United States Administration for a United Kingdom waiver from the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations, provide for US export licensing requirements to be waived in respect of certain unclassified defence items and technical data. Technical data received under the waiver, although unclassified, will be subject to US regulations concerning re-transfer and end-use. In order to qualify for the waiver, UK companies will need to sign a contract with the Ministry of Defence that contains provisions covering the handling of US technical data. The US Administration has been involved in the drafting of these contracts. Technical data received by the UK Government under the waiver will be safeguarded under our standard procedures for handling such information.

We hope that the waiver will come into effect next year, subject to Congressional and parliamentary approval, and after the necessary implementing regulations and administrative procedures have been put in place.

Boards of Inquiry

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he has taken to ensure that the recommendations made by a board of inquiry become general knowledge and are acted upon throughout HM Armed Services. [142116]

Mr. Ingram: The purpose of a Board of Inquiry is to investigate the facts of an incident in order to prevent recurrence. Boards of Inquiry records are submitted to the convening authority Headquarters, who determine the measures required to prevent further similar occurrences. These are then sent to Command and Service Headquarters who ensure these are implemented and communicated to the wider Services community as necessary.

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence in what form the reports, findings and recommendations of boards of inquiry are made available for military and legal researchers; and for how many years these reports are stored. [142117]

Mr. Ingram: Board of Inquiry reports are internal Ministry of Defence documents containing personal and confidential information. They are not normally released for external research purposes.

Reports are retained for at least 50 years.

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the result was of the investigation into the circumstances of the death in 1997 of Private Ross Collins of Nanstallon near Bodmin in Cornwall; at what time the police were called; what steps were taken to secure evidence at the scene of death; what the conclusions were of their inquiry; what the nature was of the post mortem examination; by whom it was carried out; what the findings were; at what time the relatives of the deceased were informed; what the conclusion was of the Coroner's Inquest; when a board of inquiry was established; when it reported; and what measures were taken as a result of its findings. [142118]

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Mr. Ingram: Primacy for the investigation into a sudden death lies with the appropriate civil police authority. The Coroner returned an open verdict. A Board of Inquiry was not convened in accordance with the normal practice at the time.

Civil Servants

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many civil servants were employed by his Department in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [141659]

Mr. Caplin: I refer the hon. Member to the information given in UK Defence Statistics 2003, table 2.27, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House.


Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assistance and expertise is being given by the UK to foreign governments and agencies in counter-insurgency techniques; [142278]

Mr. Ingram: Counter insurgency training covers numerous and diverse aspects of military training, both doctrinal and practical. The MOD continues to engage with a number of other Governments on a range of such matters.

Specific details are being withheld under Exemption 1 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, which covers information which, if disclosed, would be harmful to national security, defence or international relations.

Defence Contracts

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many contracts valued at £1 million or more were let by his Department during the financial year 2002–03 without competition; and if he will make a statement. [141842]

Mr. Ingram: During the financial year 2002–03 the Ministry of Defence placed a total of 314 non-competitive contracts valued at £1 million or more. This total represents around 30 per cent. of the number of contracts placed in FY 2002–03 within this value band and reflects the MOD's continued commitment to competition as a means of securing value for money.

Defence Employment (Scotland)

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many MOD (a) civilian and (b) service jobs there were at each (i) Navy, (ii) Army, (iii) Royal Air Force and (iv) Reserves defence installation in Scotland for the year ended 1 April; and if he will make a statement. [142031]

Mr. Caplin: Reliable data are not available for civilians at individual defence installations. There were 6,510 civilian staff employed in Scotland as at 1 April

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2003 (rounded to the nearest 10). This figure is for full-time equivalent, permanent, industrial and non-industrial staff, excluding Trading Funds, Royal Fleet Auxiliaries and those on career breaks, long term sick leave, secondments etc.

Information on service personnel by establishment is not held centrally. The numbers of service personnel in Scotland, by local authority area, as at 1 July 2002 are given as follows.

All servicesNaval ServiceArmyRAF
City of Aberdeen10(25)10(25)
Argyll and Bute3,9303,9300(25)
City of Dundee501040(25)
City of Edinburgh1,42001,40020
City of Glasgow8602083010
North Ayrshire(25)0(25)(25)
Perthshire and Kinross200200
Shetland Islands300030
South Ayrshire9090(25)0
West Lothian(25)0(25)0
Cornhaire nan Eilean Siar2001020

(25) Denotes less than five.


1. Data are obtained from TSP 10, which contains figures for UK Regular Forces, both trained and untrained, located in the UK. They therefore exclude Gurkhas, Full Time Reserve Service personnel, the Home Service battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment and mobilised reservists.

2. Naval Service personnel on sea service are included against the local authority containing the homeport of their ship.

Defence Logistics Organisation

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the future role and structure of the Defence Logistics Organisation. [141661]

Mr. Ingram: The role of the Defence Logistics Organisation remains:

The DLO Strategic Plan, published November 2002, provides further background, a copy of which can be found in the House of Commons Library.

The DLO is currently reviewing its structure to ensure that it provides the most effective and efficient way of delivering to its customers. The outcomes of the review will be considered early next year.

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