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27 Feb 2006 : Column 15W—continued

Departmental Recruitment

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many job advertisements were placed by his Department (a) in total, (b) in print newspapers and magazines and (c) on a recruitment website in each year since 1997; and at what cost in each case. [50750]

Mr. Touhig: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The Ministry of Defence is currently undertaking a major review of its HR processes, including recruitment and aims to transform the current system by June 2006. As part of this transformation process we have introduced a new data management system, HRMS, based on a Peoplesoft Human Resource management product. By June, when the new system is fully operational, it is envisaged that we will build data on the number of job advertisements placed by the MOD which will be available centrally.

Departmental Spending

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department's total spending has been on the development of improvised explosive devices defeating technology, broken down by project. [54382]

Mr. Ingram: Protecting the United Kingdom forces against the threat posed by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) is a very high priority and we are constantly seeking to adapt our training, tactics and procedures and to develop our equipment capability to ensure that the risk to which our troops are exposed is minimised. Investment in technology to defeat IEDs is ongoing; however, it is not departmental policy to comment on the development of counter-IED capabilities as this may prejudice operational security.

Departmental Staff

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people were employed by his Department in
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each of the last 12 months for which data are available; and how many and what percentage of posts were vacant in each region in each month. [51161]

Mr. Touhig: The number of civilian personnel employed by the Ministry of Defence over the last 12 months for which data are available are listed in the following table:

Civil servants(1)Locally engaged civiliansTotal

(1) This includes all permanent and casual civilians, Trading Funds and Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) staff.
(2) The increase in civilian personnel between 1 December 2005 and 1 January 2006 is caused by an increase of 740 in the number of locally engaged civilian personnel, which is updated quarterly, (between 1 October 2005 and 1 January 2006 the number of locally engaged civilian personnel rose from 15,410 to 16,150), offset by a reduction of 560 in the remainder of the Department, Trading Funds and RFA staff.

Details of the number of civilian Ministry of Defence posts vacant in each region in each month are not available, as this information is not held centrally by the MOD, and obtaining the data would incur disproportionate costs.

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether any (a) employee of his Department, (b) person engaged by his Department as a consultant and (c) paid adviser to his Department is a member of the House of Lords; and if he will make a statement. [52889]

Mr. Touhig: Specific data on whether any persons employed by the Ministry of Defence or engaged by the MOD as a consultant or paid adviser are members of the House of Lords are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of his Department's staff he expects to be re-located following the creation of an acquisition hub in the Abbey Wood area; from which
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sites will they be re-located; by which agencies they are currently employed; and when he expects this process to begin. [54339]

Mr. Ingram: A business case is being developed within the MOD that explores potential options for the collocation of the Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO) with the Defence Procurement Agency in the Bath/Bristol area. This involves the possible withdrawal of the DLO from a number of locations, namely: Andover, the Foxhill site in Bath, RAF Brampton/Wyton, Castle Court in Sherbourne, Caversfield near Bicester, Sapphire House in Telford, and Yeovilton.

I expect the business case to be presented for my consideration in the spring of this year. I am not prepared to speculate on the number of staff who would be affected by any relocations.

Diego Garcia

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which units are based in Diego Garcia. [54199]

Mr. Ingram: The United Kingdom's military presence on Diego Garcia comprises one joint command of 41 personnel, reporting to Commander British Forces, British Indian Oceans Territory.

Disciplinary Support

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what support his Department makes available to senior officers implicated in allegations of serious offences against servicemen under their command. [53948]

Mr. Touhig: The armed forces have well-established procedures to support those implicated in allegations of serious offences, including the full range of welfare support, access to legal advice, and assistance in dealing with media attention when necessary.

Duty Tours

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will change the guidelines for rest and recuperation from operational theatres to offer a minimum of 12 days in the UK or home country for a six month tour of duty, and pro-rata subject to a minimum qualifying period for tours of a shorter duration. [50727]

Mr. Ingram: At the discretion of the chain of command, rest and recuperation (R and R) is granted to personnel, serving in operational theatres or remote locations for periods in excess of four months, to allow them the time to rest offline to recharge their batteries in order to sustain their operational effectiveness. It is essential that, to maintain the operational tempo and for reasons of financial propriety, R and R is taken as close to the theatre of duty as possible, although if the operational situation permits and subject to the commander's endorsement, R and R may be taken at the individual's home address. Personnel on a six month tour would always, if it were operationally possible, receive at least 12 days R and R. The detail of how the days served on an operation should be translated into an R and R allowance has recently been reviewed and is currently in the process of being agreed.
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Eurofighter Typhoon

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on future planned purchases of the Eurofighter Typhoon. [54452]

Mr. Ingram: The four Typhoon Partner Nations have, to date, contracted for 384 Eurofighter-Typhoon aircraft, 144 of which are destined for the Royal Air Force. A decision by the Partner Nations on the third production buy of the aircraft (known as Tranche 3) has still to be taken and is not required until at least 2007.

Fast Jet Training

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many low flying training sorties by RAF fast jets there were in the United Kingdom in each of the last five years. [51887]

Mr. Touhig: The information is not held in the precise form requested. The amount of military low flying that takes place in the United Kingdom is better expressed in hours rather than by number of sorties, which can vary significantly from minutes to several hours. On this basis, a Statement on the Pattern of Low Flying Across the UK is published annually, with copies placed in the Library of the House. The information is recorded on the basis of the training year, which runs from April to the following March. The amount of fixed wing low flying that has taken place over the last five years is as follows (this may include a small amount of flying by aircraft other than fast jets, eg Hercules and Tucano):
Total fixed wing hours

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