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Grievance Procedures

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many grievance procedures have been initiated in the Department in each of the last three years. [63534]

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Mr. Touhig: Statistics on the numbers of civilian staff who have initiated the MOD grievance procedure in the last three years are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Different grievance procedures apply to service personnel. Under the Army Act 1955, the Air Force Act 1955 and the Naval Discipline Act 1957, a service person who thinks themselves wronged in any matter relating to their service may make a complaint about that matter, which may be considered by the Defence Council, unless resolved at a lower level.

Complaints not resolved informally or at Commanding Officer level are shown in the following table. There are currently differences in the manner in which the services define and record formal complaints, which means that a direct comparison is not possible.

Harassment Complaints

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many complaints of (a) bullying and (b) sexual harassment have been investigated in the Department in each of the last three years; and how many complaints have been upheld. [63535]

Mr. Touhig: Records are not kept centrally for these years in the form requested. Changes to record-keeping will lead to improvements for the future. The available information is as follows:

Royal Navy

A complete record of the number of complaints upheld is not held centrally. The information provided in the table reflects the available information.
Sexual Harassment


Records of complaints that were dealt with administratively are not kept centrally for these years. The following information therefore relates only to disciplinary offences dealt with under the military justice system.

Bullying is not treated as a separate offence by the Army for the purpose of record-keeping.

Sexual Harassment. Records are not kept of the total number of offences investigated.
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Royal Air Force

Sexual Harassment

MOD Civil Service

The figures quoted in the table are for civilian cases that were referred by local units to MOD Centre for complaints to be investigated by independent Harassment Investigation Officers (HIOs). Records are not held centrally of those cases where the HIOs' investigations led to complaints being upheld nor are records held centrally of bullying and sexual harassment cases that are investigated locally by MOD units and subsequently upheld.
Sexual Harassment

HMS Ferret

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the remit of HMS Ferret is. [63457]

Mr. Ingram: HMS Ferret is a Royal Naval Reserve Unit responsible for the administration, management and training of Royal Naval Reserve Intelligence personnel in providing operational capability to UK defence.

Mental Health (Iraq)

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of mental health problems that have arisen among troops returning from military service in Iraq. [63271]

Mr. Touhig: The Ministry of Defence recognises mental illness, including post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as a serious and disabling condition, but one that can be treated. We attach a high priority to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Currently, less than 0.1 per cent. of all service personnel (including those who have served in Iraq) have had to be discharged from the armed forces because of psychological illness.

Between January 2003 and December 2005 inclusive, 1,551 UK service personnel who had served in Iraq were subsequently assessed as suffering from a mental health disorder. This represents around 1.5 per cent. of total
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UK service personnel deployed to the region during the same period. Of those 1,551 personnel, 208 were assessed as suffering from PTSD. A further 696 personnel were diagnosed with an adjustment disorder, which will include some who have post traumatic symptoms not amounting to full PTSD but with some symptoms of post traumatic stress. Other personnel were diagnosed with a range of other mental health conditions, including mood and neurotic disorders, and psychoactive substance misuse.

As a result of the lessons identified during the 1990–91 Gulf conflict, the MOD took early action to put in place a large scale epidemiological study to monitor the physical and psychological health of personnel who served on Operation TELIC. This research is being undertaken by King's College London, and the preliminary results are due to be published later this year.

Mr. Nick Pope

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence in what capacity Mr. Nick Pope was employed by his Department between 1991 and 1994. [63392]

Mr. Touhig: From 1991 to 1994 Mr. Pope worked as a civil servant within Secretariat (air staff). He undertook a wide range of secretariat tasks relating to central policy, political and parliamentary aspects of non-operational RAF activity. Part of his duties related to the investigation of unidentified aerial phenomena reported to the Department to see if they had any defence significance.

Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of members of the principal civil service pension scheme in his Department joined the scheme before the age of (a) 20, (b) 25, (c) 30, (d) 35, (e) 40, (f) 45 and (g) over 45 years old. [62007]

Mr. Touhig: The following table gives the age of current civil servants within the Ministry of Defence (including trading funds) at date of entry into the principal civil service pension scheme (PCSPS).
Age groupPercentage

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department's employer contribution rates to the principal civil service pension scheme are; what assumed rate of return underlies those contribution rates; and what the contribution rate would be if the assumed rate of return was in line with current redemption yield on index-linked gilts. [62008]

Mr. Touhig: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 29 March 2006, Official Report, column 1030–1031W by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for the Cabinet Office.
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Royal Ordnance

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what volume of orders his Department has placed with Royal Ordnance in each of the last five years. [63588]

Mr. Ingram: Over the past five years, the following values of orders have been delivered by BAE Systems Land Systems through the Framework Partnering Agreement:
£ million


Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the quality of products produced for the UK armed forces at (a) Royal Ordnance Chorley and (b) Royal Ordnance Bridgwater. [63177]

Mr. Ingram: Since the takeover by BAES Land Systems of the Royal Ordnance sites at Chorley and Bridgewater the products delivered for use by UK armed forces have met the specifications stipulated by the Ministry of Defence.

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