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Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether Sandhurst Officer Cadets will be able to apply for the individual battalions rather than the new regiments when the new Infantry Future Army Structure is in place; 
(2) whether the individual battalions in the new regiments within the Prince of Wales, Kings and Scottish Divisions will be allowed to recruit officers in the new Infantry Future Army Structure. 
Mr. Ingram: Recruitment of officer cadets under the Infantry Future Army Structure will be by regiment, rather than individual battalion. Recruits will remain entitled to state their interests and preferences, and, although every effort will be made to accommodate each recruit, there can be no guarantee that these will be met.
Mr. Ingram: The Army is implementing, under Future Army Structures, a strategy to deliver both training and commitments known as the Force Operations and Readiness Mechanism (FORM); a replacement for the Formation Readiness Cycle. All Army units, including Infantry battalions, will programme their training and operational commitment activities according to the principles of FORM.
FORM enables the Army to meet its outputs (force elements ready for both programmed operations and contingent operations) from within the force structure. The sequence of activity for any one force element, such as an Infantry battalion, is in five separate six month phases: recuperation; unit and battlegroup training; formation training; high readiness; and an operational deployment.
Mr. Caplin: A project is in place to provide a new facility at RAF Northolt for the British Forces Post Office. It is planned that this facility will be occupied during 2007, at which time Inglis Barracks will be vacated.
Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Iranian authorities have returned the Royal Marine boats, weapons and equipment that were seized during the recent Gulf hostilities; and if he will make a statement. 
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the future Royal Regiment of Scotland will be able to maintain the establishment for five battalions under present recruiting levels. 
Mr. Ingram: The ability to man the five battalions of the Royal Regiment of Scotland will depend on a number of factors. It is not possible to predict its establishment until it is clear what roles the battalions of the regiment will be assigned. Recruitment to the Scottish Division has recently been slightly depressed not least by coverage of 'Save the Regiment' campaigns. However, assuming that the establishment of the future battalions remains broadly similar to current levels and a return to the recruiting levels achieved in recent years, levels of enlistment to the Royal Regiment of Scotland should be sufficient to sustain five battalions.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the people working within his Department on secondment from the private sector,
24 Jan 2005 : Column 52W
broken down by (a) the organisation or industry they came from and (b) the policy responsibilities they have been given. 
|Area of responsibility|
|Number of staff|
|Lockheed Martin||Project Management||1|
|British Aerospace||Defence Export Sales|
|Babtie Group Ltd.||Logistics||2|
|MS Ltd.||Scientific Research||1|
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 20 January 2005]: Flights to deliver aid to the areas affected by the tsunami have not been held up. The Ministry of Defence is carrying out operations as tasked by DFID. DFID has agreed to transport appropriate relief items procured by Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) agencies in response to specific and stated needs on the ground. The MOD originally made available one C17 and five C130 (Hercules) aircraft to assist the relief operation. In fact, C17s and KC1 (Tristar) aircraft have been used more extensively due to the distances and types of cargo involved.
18. Mr. Tom Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the role that placing employment advisers within GPs' surgeries might have on encouraging people into work. 
19. Mr. Win Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on progress being made to improve customer service in those offices in his Department which work directly with the general public. 
Malcolm Wicks: In recent years DWP has received massive investment to enable us to deliver an improved, modernised and more efficient service to our customersparticularly those staff dealing directly with the public. For example, we are putting an extra 10,000 staff in to front line roles. Roles like Jobcentre Plus Personal Advisers who offer personal, tailored services to help get individuals back into work and build on our, already, record levels of employment.
Maria Eagle: Under provisions in the Disability Rights Commission Act 1999, the DRC provides advice and information to disabled people about how they may enforce their rights under the Disability Discrimination Act. The Commission has powers to provide assistance in relation to proceedings in certain circumstances, and it operates a conciliation service for disputes under Parts 3 and 4 of the Act.
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