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7 Nov 2006 : Column 1454W—continued

Combat Stress

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what medical treatment is given to soldiers returning from combat suffering from stress related disorders; and if he will make a statement. [98273]

Derek Twigg: Community based mental healthcare is available to every military unit, and every Service person, at our 15 regional Departments of Community Mental Health (DCMHs) across the UK plus satellite centres overseas. DCMH teams comprise Psychiatrists and Mental Health Nurses, with access to Clinical Psychologists and mental health social workers. The aim is to see referred individuals at their unit medical centre and, with the patient’s permission, to engage with GPs and the patient's chain of command to help manage any mental health problems identified. The full range of psychiatric and psychological treatments are available including medication, psychological therapies and environmental adjustment where appropriate. Our model for treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder meets the standards set by the independent National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

In-patient care, when necessary, is provided in psychiatric units belonging to the Priory Group. Close liaison is maintained between DCMHs and the Priory units to ensure that all service elements relating to an in-patient’s care and management are addressed.

Personnel in theatre, are provided appropriate levels of support from trained mental health staff either in theatre or by returning to the UK.

In addition, on 16 May this year my predecessor announced an enhanced post-operational mental healthcare programme for recently-demobilised reservists. The programme, which will be in place before the end of the year, will provide out-patient assessment and treatment for reservists demobilised since January 2003 who have deployed on Operations and are suffering from combat related mental illness that is linked to their mobilised service. A formal announcement will be made before the end of the year to confirm the details of the programme, including the location at which the assessments will be provided, and the date on which the service will commence.

Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre File

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when he will make available his Department’s Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre file which was stored at a location at which asbestos was subsequently discovered and was separated from similar files; and if he will make a statement; [93370]

(2) what records are held on (a) each of the Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre prisons, (b) the deaths of detainees held at each prison and (c) inquiries held on such deaths; where photographs of prisoners which were handed over to investigators are now held; where the East Europeans who were detained are now held; what material is held
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relating to (i) the recordings of detainees’ conversations and (ii) training offered to the US Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre; and if he will make a statement. [93371]

Derek Twigg: A considerable number of files relating to the Combined Service Detailed Interrogation Centre (CSDIC) have previously been reviewed in accordance with departmental records procedures and transferred for permanent preservation to The National Archives (TNA). Only two items are recorded as still held in the Department: both would have been stored in an archive which was found to have been contaminated by asbestos, and which is now the subject of a scanning project.

The first item is redacted extracts from WO208/3654, which details proposed amendments to CSDIC (UK) war establishment 1943-45. The extracts have been located among the contaminated material, scanned, reviewed and cleared for release. Arrangements are being made to transfer them to The National Archives (TNA), where they will be available to the public in the usual way.

The second item is file WO208/3548 entitled “Interrogation of POWs at London District Cage”, 1942-1944, which is listed in the TNA catalogue as closed, and retained by MOD. A search of the list of material in the contaminated archive has shown that this file is not recorded. The list was compiled under difficult conditions by staff wearing protective clothing, and a mistake may have been made. If the file is among the contaminated material, it will be discovered before the project concludes in early 2008. Officials believe that this file relates to so-called “double cross agents”, and the potential continuing sensitivity of personal data related to this subject means that even if it is found the material may not be releasable.

Complaints (Equipment)

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many personnel in (a) the Army, (b) the Royal Navy and (c) the Royal Air Force have initiated complaints procedures arising from concerns with equipment since 2003; and in how many cases in (i) the Army, (ii) the Royal Navy and (iii) the Royal Air Force the complaint was upheld. [98569]

Mr. Ingram: The MOD greatly values and actively encourages feedback from personnel on how equipment is performing, so that lessons can be learnt and improvements made where a need is identified. There are a number of ways available for members of the armed forces to raise issues, faults and suggestions for improvement to equipment, these include: via routine reporting through the chain of command; via the failure reporting analysis and corrective actions system; through the GEMS suggestion scheme or via the serious equipment failure investigation team.

Specific information relating to the number of complaints raised and their outcomes is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


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Corporate Purchasing Cards

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many corporate purchasing cards have been issued by his Department; and what savings have been achieved as a result of their introduction. [92613]

Derek Twigg: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is in the process of withdrawing its corporate purchasing cards and currently has around 924 such cards in issue. These corporate purchasing cards are in the process of being replaced by the Government procurement card (GPC), which enables business units to obtain goods and services faster and cheaper and by a more auditable process. MOD currently uses some 17,466 GPC cards. The MOD does not hold any figures on savings made through use of the corporate purchasing card. Total process cost savings by use of the GPC during the period from March 2000 to September 2006 are over £68 million, based on the NAO figure of£28 per transaction.

Databases

Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many confirmed security breaches of databases controlled by his Department occurred in each of the last five years; whether the breach resulted from internal or external sources in each case; how many records were compromised on each occasion; and what estimate was made of the total number of records accessible to the individuals concerned. [92843]

Derek Twigg: The MOD is only aware of one security breach in the last five years which potentially resulted in compromise of a classified database containing the Ministry of Defence personal data. The breach involved the theft from a hotel of an Army laptop holding a password protected database of Service personnel and next of kin details associated with Operation FRESCO, the MOD Military Assistance to Civil Authorities operation conducted during the 2002 fire services strike. The database contained the names and military details of Service personnel. I emphasise that the data was password protected and we have no evidence that it was actually compromised.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which of his Department’s databases are (a) wholly and (b) partly operated by external organisations or individuals; and which organisations and individuals own those databases. [97761]

Derek Twigg: Information on the Ministry of Defence databases that are wholly and partly operated by external organisations or individuals and which organisations and individuals own those databases is not held centrally. In general, databases are wholly owned through the MOD user communities, such as Front Line Commands (FLCs), other Top Level Budgets (TLBs) and Higher Level Budgets (HLBs).

The Defence Communication Services Agency (DCSA), through integrated project teams (IPTs) such as Logistic Application IPT (LAIPT), provides the applications on which databases exist. There will be instances where there are industrial partnerships and
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Contractor Logistic Support (CLS) where data is shared with contractors. The Defence Corporate Business Applications IPT (DCBA IPT), part of the DCSA, manages a number of databases with most being owned and operated by the MOD. The following are not MOD owned and or operated:

Other databases that are partly operated by external organisations, but that are all owned by the MOD and managed by the DCSA are:

The privatised dockyards use CRISP, WITS, RIDELS, and BAe use EPSIS.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State forDefence which databases operated by his Department are located (a) wholly and (b) partly outside the UK; and where each of those databases and parts of databases is located. [97762]

Des Browne: Information on the number and location of databases, either wholly or in part, outside the UK is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The major database owners in the MoD are the MoD Finance Director, the Armed Forces Personnel Administration Agency (AFPAA), the People Pay and Pensions Agency (PPPA) and the Defence Communications Services Agency (DCSA). Only the DCSA has overseas databases.

Two of the DCSA's integrated project teams (IPTs) manage, operate or maintain databases that are able to be located outside the UK. The Logistics Applications IPT (LA IPT) operate 168 applications, a number of which are deployable onto ships, land and air units. Therefore, there will be periods when sub-sets of databases are abroad or generated abroad. Quantifying
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this would be extremely difficult. Examples of the more deployable applications are: GLOBAL (not an acronym), Unit Maintenance Management System (UMMS), On-board Automated Ships Information System (OASIS), Visibility in Transit and Asset Logging (VITAL) and Work Recording and Asset Management (WRAM). There are some servers for WRAM at Gutersloh (Germany).

Defence Corporate Business Applications IPT (DCBA IPT) support the Theatre Operational Medical Datacapture System (TOMD System). This is a military standalone laptop system which is used to data capture medical data world wide with UK forces but is primarily used in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

There may be instances of databases created locally at overseas locations, particularly in Permanent Joint Operating Bases (PJOBs), for tasks specific to their location. There is no way of identifying these centrally, although as the Defence Information Infrastructure (DII) networks roll out, these databases will be identified and either brought up to standard and then managed by the DCSA, or de-commissioned.

Defence Scientific Advisory Council

Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence who the members are of the Defence Scientific Advisory Council. [100468]

Mr. Ingram: It has not proved possible to respond to the right hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Departmental Expenditure

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on organising and hosting conferences in the last 12 months. [93087]

Derek Twigg: This information is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. Conferences and their associated costs are organised in accordance with departmental regulations to provide value for money.

Mr. Pope: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost was of paying for fees at independent schools for the children of staff employed by his Department in the last year for which figures are available. [95990]

Derek Twigg: The costs for academic year 2005-06 are approximately:

Academic year 2005-06 £ million

Armed forces

94

Civilian

1

Total cost

95


Departmental Mail

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of the Department’s mail is shipped
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using private companies; and what the cost was over the last 12 months. [95154]

Derek Twigg: Over the last 12 months, 41 per cent. of all mail addressed to British Forces Post Office address was shipped by private carrier at a cost of £1.8 million.

Information regarding mail shipped by separate MOD units via Royal Mail Group is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Publications

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) circulation, (b) cost and (c) title is of each publication his Department has issued since 1 July 2005. [89562]

Derek Twigg: Not all the information on publications requested is held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. The Ministry of Defence has issued centrally the following formal publications:

Title Number of copies Print cost (£)

CM6616 Response HCDC Future Capabilities

300

1,250

CM6619 Response HCDC AF Bill

300

1,250

CM6620 Response HCDC Duty of Care

300

1,250

Sanctuary 2005

19,500

20,700

CM6697 Defence Industrial Strategy

3,500

22,890

Future Conflicts Insight Booklet

1,400

2,648

Race Equality Scheme Report

250

1,621

SIT Publication

500

815

Veterans Strategy Booklet

2,500

1,471

Capability and Alignment Study

7,000

4,466

CM6851 Government Response to Deepcut Review

300

1,250

Information Managers Handbook

2,500

3,372

Information Managers Precis

2,500

1,299

Sanctuary 2006

20,000

18,927

Maximising Benefit from Defence Research

350

2,102

Defence Technology Strategy

3,000

9,900

Total

95,211

Note: ’Formal’ means official printed documents for external distribution to the public or Parliament. ‘Centrally’ relates only to publications by DGMC. This does not include those produced by other directorates within the Central Top Level Budget (TLB), nor to TLBs beyond MOD Main Building.

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