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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many former RAF personnel (a) pensions payments and (b) redundancy payments have been missed since 20 March 2006 under Joint
Personnel Administration; and how many are still awaiting payment; 
Mr. Watson: Due to the increased numbers of those leaving the RAF in April as a result of the recent redundancy exercise, coupled with the roll-out of JPA at the same time, it was not possible to process all terminal grant payments, special capital payments and pension payments within the normal five days target. During April and May some 1,830 awards were processed for those leaving the RAF, of which 1,395 were paid outside of the five-day target from being discharged. However, in all but six cases payments were made within 30 days, with the remainder paid shortly thereafter. There are now no outstanding payments.
The first JPA payroll in April successfully delivered pay, including allowances and charges to the vast majority of RAF personnel (42,104 out of 48,743). The 6,639 pay inaccuracies (over and underpayments) were caused by several factors: some were due to existing data errors transferred over from the legacy systems, some were input errors, and some were discrepancies in flying pay. The majority of flying pay was correctly paid by 2 May; a small number of RAF personnel were paid their April entitlement in their May payments. The second (May) payroll has been much more successful with only some 1,175 personnel still affected by pay inaccuracies.
Some salary payments were late as a result of the simultaneous introduction of a new system of overseas bank payments. Overseas payments were achieved within a few days of the due date and alternative local cash payments were arranged. There have also been some difficulties with the automated payment of expenses for official journeys. In April these affected nearly 4,000 personnel and in May approximately 600.
The total number of personnel JPA will pay once it is fully rolled out is approximately 280,000. The Armed Forces Personnel Administration Agency has received some 14 pieces of ministerial correspondence on behalf of constituents. As at 21 June 2006 there have been no formal grievances from individual users about JPA.
Full roll-out of JPA is dependent upon the Defence Information Infrastructure (DII) programme. Alternative business processes are being developed for those who will not have self-service access when JPA goes live to their service.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the work of the (a) Air Warfare Centre, (b) Army Intelligence Corps and (c) RAF Intelligence Branch; where each is based; how many individuals work for each; and what the rank is of the most senior officer. 
Des Browne: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 15 June 2006, Official Report, column 1385W, in respect of the work of the Army Intelligence Corps. The Corps is based at the Defence Intelligence and Security Centre at Chicksands. The Corps' strength is 1,625 and its most senior officer is a Brigadier.
The Air Warfare Centre is headquartered at RAF Waddington and has outlying units both in the United Kingdom and overseas. Its current strength is 1,060 people, both service and civilians. Its role is to provide timely intelligence-led integrated mission support to Defence-wide units for operations and training. The rank of the most senior officer is Air Commodore.
The role of the RAF intelligence specialisation is to provide operationally focussed air intelligence in support of air operations in peace and war. It does not have a single base, but is spread throughout the Ministry of Defence, RAF commands and units. Its policy branch is based within the Air Warfare Centre at RAF Waddington. There are 285 officers in the RAF Intelligence Branch and 885 non-commissioned personnel in the RAF intelligence trade. The rank of the most senior RAF officer in the Intelligence Branch is Group Captain.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of (a) the threat to the UK of long-range missiles being developed by (i) North Korea, (ii) Iran, (iii) China and (iv) other countries and (b) by when such missiles might be militarily deployable. 
North Korea has an active programme to develop long-range missiles which could have the potential to reach the UK. It is unlikely to have a militarily deployable capability against the UK within the next five years.
Iran already has short and medium-range missiles in service, and its potential for developing long-range missiles which could reach UK has been recognised for some time. It is unlikely to have a militarily deployable capability against the UK within the next 10 years.
Des Browne: I have nothing further to add to the statements made by my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House on 22 June 2006, Official Report, column 1468, and my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 28 June 2006, Official Report, column 253.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the unpredictability of future threats to the United Kingdom between 2020 and 2050 as a factor in deciding whether to build a new generation of the nuclear deterrent. 
Des Browne: Work by officials is under way to prepare for decisions, which will be taken later this year, on the future of the United Kingdom's nuclear deterrent. This work includes an analysis of possible future risks and threats over the potential life of any replacement for Trident. It is, however, too early to draw any conclusions.
Des Browne: Trident is our only nuclear weapons system. Since the Trident nuclear deterrent became operational in 1994, annual expenditure for capital and operating costs, including the costs for the Atomic Weapons Establishment, has ranged between 3 and 4.5 per cent. of the annual defence budget.
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what measures the Department has put in place to assist pension transferability of public pensions for members of the armed forces pension scheme. 
All public service schemes pay cash equivalent transfer values to other pension schemes in respect of accrued rights in compliance with pensions law. Under the fair deal for staff pensions, there is a requirement to transfer pension rights when employments are transferred to the private sector under public-private partnerships/public finance initiatives. Public service scheme members can also transfer accrued pension rights by way of the Public Sector Transfer Club. The club is a network of public
and private sector occupational pension schemes which makes it easier for employees who move between employers covered by separate participating schemes to transfer their accrued pension rights.
John Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions RAF air tankers have undergone non-emergency (a) first, (b) second, (c) third and (d) fourth time maintenance outside the UK in the last five years; where the maintenance took place; for what reasons the locations were chosen; and what the cost of the maintenance was in each year. 
Mr. Ingram: The RAF currently operates Tristar and VC10 aircraft to provide both a strategic air refuelling (AR) and air transport (AT) capability. Some airframes can be used in either the AR or AT role.
Scheduled forward (formerly first line) maintenance for the VC10 and Tristar aircraft is undertaken within the UK. When deployed on operations some forward maintenance is carried out at RAF bases overseas. However, records for this work are not held centrally and can be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Scheduled depth (formerly second, third and fourth line) maintenance for the VC10 is undertaken within the UK and for the Tristar has been carried out under contract by Gulf Aircraft Maintenance Company (GAMCO) in Abu Dhabi since 1997. GAMCO won this contract in open competition.
The cost of providing scheduled depth maintenance to Tristar aircraft that can operate in either the AR or AT role is set out in the following table. Information for 2001 is not held centrally and can be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, the table does include the projected cost for 2006.
|Number of aircraft||Total cost (£ million)|
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what rules are in the Joint Service Defence Records Management Manual concerning retention of (a) records concerning changes of policy and instructions and (b) documentation on the reasons for changes made. 
Joint Service Publication 441the Defence Records Management Manualidentifies effective methods of storing information in a coherent manner and of reviewing and disposing information in an efficient and cost-effective way in order to comply with the Public Records Acts 1958 and 1965. The
principle is that material of historic value should be identified for permanent preservation, and that other material should be destroyed as soon as there is no business need for it. The wide variety of activities within the Department means that many decisions must be taken locally. However, the manual includes in an illustrative list of records likely to warrant permanent preservation, those that:
Illustrate the formation/evolution of Defence policy
Contain important decisions relating to the organisation, disposition or use of the armed forces
Show the reasons for important decisions or actions or provide precedents.
Mr. Watson: The Daily Messing Rate is based on a "basket" of food items, and is constructed by applying prices obtained from the main MOD Food Supply Contractor to the HM Ships ration scale. The June 2006 Budget is £2.14, and this is supplemented by further allowances dependent on a number of factors, for example the size of the ship's company, and the length of time for which the ship is at sea, to a maximum of £3.36. On average, for a ship at sea, the budget per person, per day is approximately £2.27.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the announcement on 27 June on the creation of six new state school cadet units, what discussions he had with the Department for Education and Skills on this matter. 
Mr. Watson: The list of candidate schools for the pilot Combined Cadet Force expansion scheme has been developed with the full assistance of officials at the Department for Education and Skills as outlined to the house on 27 April 2006, Official Report, column 1267.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the announcement on 27 June on the creation of six new state school cadet units, how much of the funding will come from the private sector. 
As a Ministry of Defence sponsored voluntary youth organisation that does not advertise it is extremely difficult to assess the number of individuals willing to support the combined cadet force
scheme. Identification of suitable volunteers to operate a combined cadet force contingent is the responsibility of the school's head teacher. To date the Department is aware of nine state schools that have expressed an interest in forming combined cadet force contingents and have sufficient volunteers to support the contingents. This is in addition to the volunteers supporting the 52 state schools CCF already established.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will review the case of Mr. Banta Singh, former member of the Hong Kong and Singapore Royal Artillery, whose appeal for the reinstatement of his service disability pension was rejected in April 2006. 
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many trainees have been discharged in the past 12 months as a result of an adverse assessment under the Suicide Vulnerability Risk Management Policy. 
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