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18 Dec 2003 : Column 1068Wcontinued
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many formal grievances have been raised by the staff of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory since its formation; and how many relate to staff who are on secondment to, or have returned from, secondment to his Department. 
Mr. Caplin: Records indicate that a total of 12 formal grievances have been raised by staff since the formation of Dstl. Of these, two were raised by staff that had been on secondment to main Ministry of Defence posts.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Christmas trees his Department has (a) shipped to Iraq and (b) procured in Iraq for the purpose of celebrations among personnel; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Caplin [holding answer 17 December 2003]: Fifty Christmas trees were being sent to Iraq by the Expeditionary Forces Institute to be purchased locally by units deployed there. In addition, a number of units have made their own arrangements to import trees.
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the Joint Strike Fighter. 
Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 16 May 2003, Official Report, column 453W.
Mr. Benton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will re-open the investigation into the death of Michael Morgan, an employee of the Ministry of Defence in the sovereign base areas of Cyprus on 17 May 2001. 
Mr. Caplin: No new information has come to light to cast doubt on the Coroner's original verdict. We therefore have no plans to re-open the investigation into Mr. Morgan's death.
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Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what criteria are used in evaluating the cost of risk assessed as attaching to bids to supply goods and services to the MoD; and whether bidders are informed of (a) such criteria and (b) their effect on their bids. 
Mr. Ingram: In evaluating bids for the supply of goods and services the Ministry of Defence will assess risk in terms of likely Performance against the requirement; Timeliness of delivery and Cost. MOD employs various tools for bid evaluation including risk questionnaires and Three-Point Estimating.
In line with the Codes of Best Practice agreed between MOD and the Defence Industry it is now standard practice for the MOD to make available to bidders the criteria and weightings used in the tender evaluation process.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what procedures are in place to monitor secondments from his Department to other governments; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Caplin: It is a management function of the sponsoring unit within MOD to monitor the effectiveness of individual secondments against the objectives for which they were established. There is no central control or monitoring of these management activities, and this information could therefore be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what changes have been agreed since Main Gate approval to (a) specifications, (b) build quality and (c) delivery dates of the Landing Ship Dock (Auxiliary) vessels being constructed by Swan Hunter; 
(3) what the expected commissioning date is of Landing Ship Dock (Auxiliary) vessels being built by (a) Swan Hunter and (b) BAE Systems Marine. 
(4) what claims for compensation from Swan Hunter have been made by BAE Systems Marine in respect of delays in the construction of two Landing Ship Dock (Auxiliary) vessels at Govan. 
Mr. Ingram: Since Main Gate approval, a small number of enhancements have been made to the Landing Ship Dock (Auxiliary (LSD(A)) programme to ensure that each vessel complies with the latest statutory safety requirements. There have been no changes to the build quality of the vessels.
Swan Hunter has recently announced delays to its build programme. We are currently reviewing the impact this will have on the In-Service Dates of all four LSD(A)s. Provisional dates supplied by both companies
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suggest that the First of Class LSD(A) will now enter service in autumn 2005 with the final vessel entering service in summer 2006.
The Department has a Firm Price contract with Swan Hunter and any contractual discussions that arise are commercially sensitive. I am, therefore, withholding this information under Exemption 7a of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, which relates to the effective management and operations of the public service.
BAE SYSTEMS Marine's LSD(A) contract is not with Swan Hunter but with the Ministry of Defence. Claims for compensation have been made by BAE SYSTEMS Marine as a consequence of delays to its build programme at Govan. These too are commercially sensitive, and I am also withholding this information in accordance with Exemption 7a of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many senior civil servants in her Department are disabled, expressed in (a) numbers and (b) as a percentage of whole-time equivalents. 
Mr. Caborn: The Department collects data on disability on a voluntary self-declaration basis. There are currently no members of the Department's senior civil service who have declared a disability.
Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she intends to publish the report commissioned by the right hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras on funding from the New Opportunities Fund for children's play. 
Estelle Morris: I expect the report commissioned from the right hon. Member for Holborn and St. Pancras to be published early in the New Year.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the implications of the introduction of compulsory identity cards for her Department. 
Mr. Caborn: The Home Office has lead responsibility for developing the national identity cards scheme, which was announced by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary on 11 November 2003. My Department stands ready to take part in any on-going discussions, as appropriate.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what further action she plans to implement the provisions of the World Intellectual Property Organisation Performances and Phonograms Treaty in respect of the rights of performers. 
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Ms Hewitt: I have been asked to reply.
UK law does not at present grant performers the moral rights required by the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, and we are planning to introduce these rights during the course of next year.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the total amount of Lottery grants given to (a) the richest 100 wards in the UK and (b) the poorest 100 wards in the UK was (i) from the inception of the Lottery to 1 May 1997 and (ii) from 2 May 1997 to date. 
Estelle Morris: The information requested is being placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
The information cannot be provided in the exact format requested. Changes to ward boundaries in some of these wards make such comparisons impossible. Where boundaries have remained constant, the information requested is shown in the tables which are produced from data provided by the Lottery distributors. The tables are based on the Index of Multiple Deprivation for England onlyno UK wide measure is available.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent discussions she has had with representatives of One North East regarding (a) the tourism industry and (b) the Northumbria Tourist Board. 
Mr. Caborn: Neither I nor my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State have had recent discussions with representatives of One North East regarding (a) the tourism industry and (b) the Northumbria Tourist Board. However, officials from my Department's Tourism Division and from the Government Office for the North East have been in regular contact with One North East as they have taken on their strategic responsibility for tourism in the region and have had discussions with representatives of the Northumbria Tourist Board. I have asked One North East and the other English Regional Development Agencies to work with their tourist boards and the industry to decide upon the best support structure for the tourism industry in their particular region. I understand that One North East is working towards the introduction of a new structure for the delivery of tourism in the North East.
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My officials continue to work with the RDAs to help ensure a planned and smooth transition to any new arrangements.
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