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Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 26 October 2005, Official Report, column 374W, on aircraft crashes, what function (a) the radar altitude hold on the Chinook HC1 and (b) the radar altimeter hold on the Chinook HC2 performed; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Touhig: The function of the radar altimeter hold on the Chinook HC Mk 1 and the Chinook HC Mk 2 is identical. It provides a means by which the aircraft can maintain a constant height above the surface in the hover or at low speeds.
Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 26 October 2005, Official Report, column 344W, on aircraft crashes, why the radar altimeter hold cleared for use on the Chinook HC2 was subject to restrictions; and if he will make a statement. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what percentage of the personnel at the Aldermaston Weapons Establishment are (a) US citizens, (b) employed by US corporations and (c) employed by the US Government, broken down by grade. 
John Reid: The Atomic Weapons Establishment is managed under Government owned contractor operated ('GOCO') arrangements. The management and operation company, AWE plc, has the following personnel working at AWE sites:
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the (a) types and (b) amounts of anthrax which have been supplied to Iraq by the USA since 1980; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements are in place to provide entertainment to service personnel in (a) Iraq, (b) Afghanistan and (c) other countries where the military serve. 
Mr. Touhig: Entertainment for service personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan and in other countries is primarily delivered by the operational welfare package (OWP). The OWP provides a leisure and relaxation element that includes: British Forces Broadcast Service (BFBS) multi-television and radio; televisions, videocassette recorders, DVD players and radios; videocassettes or DVDs; live combined services' entertainment shows; newspapers, magazines, books and board games.
Eligibility for the OWP is based on the length of time overseas and by personnel numbers. Operations, exercises and deployments require an expected duration of two months or more to be eligible and containing more than 20 personnel, below which it is not cost-effective to provide OWP. In addition, OWP is not provided for locations that have a developed
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infrastructure, where most elements are available already, or for personnel in receipt of local overseas allowance.
BFBS also provides television and radio services to other countries where service personnel are stationed. These include north west Europe, Ascension, Belize, Brunei (radio only), Canada, Cyprus, and the Falkland Islands, together with Her Majesty's ships.
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many serving (a) regular, (b) territorial and (c) reserve armed forces personnel were recorded as living in Kettering constituency in each year since 1997. 
Posted location data by local authority, for regular personnel are published in TSP 10, UK Regular Forces Distribution Across UK", quarterly from 1 July 2004 to 1 July 2005. Copies are available in the Library of the House. There were no regular personnel posted to the borough of Kettering during this time and records show that no regular personnel have been posted to Kettering between 1997 and 2004.
Mr. Ingram: One surplus demilitarised Chieftain MK5/3 Main Battle Tank (MET) was sold commercially in 2004 and nine surplus Challenger 1 MET hulks were disposed of by scrap metal recovery. No surplus MBTs have been sold on a Government-to-Government basis in the last five years. However, 399 Challenger 1 MBTs have been gifted to the Jordanian armed forces under the Al Hussein Project.
Mr. Ingram: The British Army continues to conduct training in Kenya. However, some exercises have been constrained by a Kenyan Government decision to limit the areas where troops can train. Detailed negotiations between the Governments of Kenya and the United Kingdom about adjusting these restrictions are proceeding. In the meantime, the Memorandum of Understanding between the two Governments which expired in December 2004 has been extended.
Dr. Julian Lewis:
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the status is of the process he described in Washington DC as a final perusal of UK plans to build two large aircraft carriers; what aspects of the carrier
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programme are being perused; and whether this constitutes a lessening of the Government's commitment to build the carriers. 
John Reid [holding answer 14 November 2005]: The future aircraft carrier (CVF) project is in its assessment phase, the aim of which is to balance the key parameters of performance, cost and time. The main investment decision will be taken when we know with confidence the risks involved in building the carriers, when we have a proper understanding of the costs involved and the implications in terms of the wider interface with other projects.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps the Department takes to ensure that consultancies do not claim excessive expenses while working for his Department and its agencies. 
Mr. Touhig: All the Ministry of Defence contracts are placed on the basis of providing best value for money. In many cases consultancy contracts are awarded through framework arrangements which have been agreed with consultancy suppliers. To get themselves onto the framework agreements the consultants will have taken part in a competitive tender and the agreed charging rates and expenses will accordingly have been subject to competitive pressure. Where MOD teams place contracts outside of the framework agreements they must be able to demonstrate value for money and that prices, including arrangements for payment of expenses, are fair and reasonable.
The MOD is actively considering, along with other parts of central government, how best to maximise public sector buying power in this market. One likely outcome of this work is a much greater use of centralised framework agreements by the MOD and across government.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list departmental projects conducted by consultants in each year since 2000; what the cost was in each case; and what the total cost of employing consultants was in each year. 
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what mechanisms are in place to assess the effectiveness of consultant-led projects in his Department; what sanctions are available to penalise consultants who run unsuccessful projects; how many projects conducted by consultants were assessed as unsuccessful in each year since 2000; and what sanctions were imposed in each case. 
Mr. Touhig: Most consultants used by the Ministry of Defence are engaged to support projects, not to lead them. That said, the mechanisms to assess a consultant's performance will be similar whether the consultancy is acting in a lead or support role. Primarily this will focus on an assessment by the MOD project team of the consultant's performance in relation to the contracted statement of requirements, including any deliverables. In the short term we would expect any shortfalls in the performance of a consultant to be addressed through discussion with the MOD project manager. In the longer term MOD has a contractual remedy for poor performance in DEFCON 92 'Failure of Performance'.
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