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Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much of its personnel budget for each financial year from 199798 to 200102 the Service Children's Education Unit spent in Scotland (a) in monetary terms and (b) as a percentage of the total personnel budget for that year; how many personnel were employed in Scotland in each year; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what measures his Department has in place to encourage the retention of scientists (a) within DSTL and (b) engaged in research in other parts of the Department. 
Mr. Ingram: We recognise the value of scientific staff to the Department and have in place a number of measures to retain their expertise and experience. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has strong head of profession leadership through the Defence Engineering and Science Group (DESG). The group supports technical staff by coordinating training, development, career progression and Chartership. In general, the Department is on a par with the best of major employers of specialists in terms of retention rates.
The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), with a turnover of £340 million, is the biggest employer of research scientists in the MOD. DSTL
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provides considerable training and development opportunitiestechnical training programmes are offered to develop and refresh technical knowledge and there is a Chartership Scheme accredited to eight professional institutions which is open to all staff.
DSTL staff are also allowed time off to undertake further study such as MSc or PhD qualifications with relevant tuition fees paid. There are links with five universities for research purposes and staff are encouraged to spend time in other laboratories to ensure that knowledge remains current. Secondments are available to other areas of the Department and Government, UK industry and international laboratories. There is an internal symposium held annually to encourage networking and debate on topical research areas. There is a Scheme for Technical Education and Professional Support to encourage networking, conferences and events for junior staff and a Fellowship Scheme which gives recognition to senior staff who are acknowledged as national or international experts in their field.
Mr. Ingram: The main role of DSTL is to provide core defence science and technology, that can only be performed within government. The MOD's Chief Scientific Adviser funds the majority of research at DSTL. There are currently no plans to significantly increase the funding for research in real terms at DSTL. However, MOD expenditure is reviewed biannually.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the ratio of DSTL research spending, excluding spending contracted out to third parties, to DSTL spending on other activities in the last period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Ingram: The figures for the first 11 months of the financial year 200405 for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory indicate that the ratio of the amount spent on scientific activities, including research but excluding that contracted out to third parties, to theamount spent on other activities was 4.2 to 1. The term other activities" has been interpreted as costs of non-scientific functional support.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence through what methods DSTL scientists acquire hands-on research expertise in the (a) science and technology projects and (b) equipment procurement areas of the technical projects upon which they are required to advise. 
The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, DSTL, has a range of approaches to ensure that its scientists and engineers acquire and retain the knowledge and expertise required to discharge its roles within the Ministry of Defence (MOD). Hands-on practical research expertise is only one element, and DSTL is tasked to undertake part of the MOD's Research Building Block itself in a range of systems
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areas and a sub-set of sensitive defence technologies. In addition, DSTL undertakes the knowledge integration role for the Research customers which requires it to work closely with the other organisations in industry and academia engaged in hands-on research.
DSTL encourages its staff to undertake research based MSc and PhD activities as well as having a commitment to their continuous professional development through membership of the appropriate professional institutes. To strengthen engagement in underlying technical areas where DSTL has limited hands-on work of its own, it has set up Co-operative Research Centres with academia to facilitate the exchange of staff and resources between DSTL and partner Universities. This allows DSTL staff to work within the partner University alongside external researchers who are engaged in MOD funded work, for example through the Joint Grant Scheme. DSTL has also entered into arrangements with industry to encourage staff secondment and established opportunities for staff interchange with other national and international laboratories.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of the Government's science and technology projects and equipment procurement spending in each of the last five years occurred without advice from (a) DSTL and (b) other technical sources. 
Mr. Ingram: All significant spending on Ministry of Defence science and technology projects and equipment procurement spending involves advice from a variety of appropriate technical sources, which include DSTL, QinetiQ, industry and academia. Such advice is synthesised by MOD technical experts.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what technical sources the Department used for impartial advice on the Government's (a) science and technology projects and (b) equipment procurement spending in addition to DSTL in each of the last five years. 
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has its own staff within the Department in addition to Dstl to provide advice on both science and technology projects and equipment procurement. These resources have been available since before the formation of DSTL. MOD
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does use QinetiQ, industry and academia where appropriate and when impartiality can be assured. In these cases, the majority of final synthesis of technical advice is performed by MOD's own resources.
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) science, (b) technology projects and (c) equipment procurement budgets were for 200104; and what the value was of projects that overspent or overran by more than 10 per cent. 
Mr. Ingram: The budgets for MOD (a) research, (b) development and (c) equipment procurement are published in UK Defence Statistics 2004 (Tables 1.1,1.7 and 1.15). The research budget is generally applied to exploring speculative subjects and it is not amenable to the type of analysis requested. The chief scientific adviser supervises this work and the majority of the programme is contracted at ascertained costs. In the last few years this programme has been delivered substantially on budget.
The performance of the equipment programme is reported within the MOD's Annual Report and Accounts 200304 (sections 121123 procurement performance) and further, more detailed, analysis is contained within the Report by Comptroller and Auditor General on MOD Major Project Report.
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