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12 Jan 2004 : Column 534W
Vera Baird: To ask the Solicitor-General (1) if the Attorney-General will advise that special counsel should be available where there are issues of disclosure and public interest immunity involved in applications to try someone without a jury because of fear of intimidation under section 43 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003; 
The Solicitor-General: This issue falls to be considered by the House of Lords in the case of R v. H and C. This appeal is to be heard on 1415 January 2004. The Attorney-General will be representing the Crown in that case.
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In December 2002, the purchase of elements of the "Total Asset Visibility" system currently in service in the United States Department of Defense was approved, in order to enable interoperability with US forces. The system is known as "Total Asset Visibility (Minus)" (TAV (Minus)), and is a radio frequency identity system that enables remote and automated scanning of electronically tagged containers, pallets, and other consignments. It is linked to existing United Kingdom information systems.
The contract for TAV (Minus) was let on 23 January 2003, and installation work began four days later. The first phase of this work was divided into two parts. The first elements of Phase 1 to support early sustainment activity were completed by 15 February. The remaining elements of Phase 1, to give more comprehensive detail of strategic Supply Chain activity into Theatre, were completed by 31 March. Phase 2 of the system, to support redeployment and recovery, was installed from the end of decisive operations on 1 May, and was completed by the end of July. TAV (Minus) technology has since been integrated with information systems used by the Royal Navy. TAV (Minus) has genuinely enhanced our consignment tracking capability and offers an opportunity for further exploitation.
Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost will be of bringing the Armoured Vehicle Fleet to the standard required to meet operational targets; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost was of (a) improved oil filters and fans, (b) oil health monitoring equipment and (c) extended side skirts used in the dust mitigation package for the Challenger II tanks deployed on operation Telic. 
Mr. Ingram: The costs of the improved oil filters and fans, oil health monitoring equipment and extended side skirts used in the dust mitigation package for Challenger IIs deployed on Operation Telic are listed in the table.
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|Dust mitigation package||£ million|
|Improved air filters and fans||5.2|
|Oil health monitoring equipment||0.039|
|Extended side skirts and mud flaps||2.5|
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what factors underlay the policy of his Department on central monitoring of (a) outward secondments to private companies and (b) secondments to other governments; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Caplin: Outward secondments to industry are subject to a formal application and selection process within MOD. Where an applicant is successful, a formal secondment agreement setting out the terms and conditions of the secondment is drawn up between MOD and the organisation concerned, covering aspects such as the duties to be undertaken, conduct, discipline, performance and development issues. Monitoring of performance and progress during the secondment is then undertaken by the relevant MOD interchange unit on a case by case basis as best fits the particular circumstances.
Appointments to other governments and departments are treated as public sector employment and are therefore subject to normal career posting arrangements. They are arranged by the appropriate local HR managers, and are not included as part of the central interchange programme. Although such appointments are not centrally monitored or covered by a formal secondment contract the other arrangements are broadly similar.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations have been received regarding the Galileo satellite network; what the Government's response has been; and if he will make a statement. 
The Galileo Global Navigation Satellite System is a civil programme that falls under the European Union's Directorate-General for Energy and Transport. Negotiations on the project are continuing with European Union partners, the European Commission and the United States, including its interoperability with the US Global Positioning System. During these negotiations the Government have been in regular contact with organisations and individuals representing the companies involved in the development of satellite navigation systems and applications. The UK is committed to the commercial success of Galileo as a civil system that has the potential to offer many opportunities for new transport and other applications.
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incidents involving the use of force by British military personnel since the end of the conflict were officially notified of the fatality. 
Mr. Ingram: UK forces inform the International Committee of the Red Cross of all confirmed civilian fatalities of which they are aware have been caused, or allegedly caused, by UK forces. The ICRC then endeavours to inform the relatives as soon as practicable.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what rights of redress have been made available to the families of Iraqi civilians allegedly killed by British forces since the end of the conflict. 
Mr. Ingram: Redress for Iraqi civilians who have allegedly been killed or injured by United Kingdom forces is covered by Section 6 of the Coalition Provisional Authority Order Number 17. This requires cases to be dealt with by the parent state of the person whose activities are alleged to have caused the loss, in accordance with the national laws of that parent state.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what methods are being used to decontaminate Iraqi tanks and other military equipment disabled or destroyed by the use of depleted uranium munitions in the southern sector of Iraq under British military control. 
Mr. Ingram: To date, all military vehicles known to have been hit by DU munitions within the southern sector of Iraq under British military control have been clearly marked and are pending further examination when the security situation allows. UK efforts so far have focused on the identification and demarcation of contaminated vehicles.
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