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28 Nov 2006 : Column 624W—continued

Joint Narcotics Analysis Centre

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost was of establishing the Joint Narcotics Analysis Centre; what its budget is for 2006-07; and what percentage of each has been met by the US authorities. [103383]

Mr. Ingram: The most senior UK person in the (Joint Narcotics Analysis Centre) is a military officer of Colonel (or equivalent) rank and the senior US person is a Department of Defence Civilian Narcotics Analyst whose rank is equivalent to that of a UK military Colonel.

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The cost of establishing the Joint Narcotics Analysis Centre was:

These are systems and infrastructure costs; each of the agencies participating in the JNAC are responsible for covering personnel and their travel and subsistence costs from within existing establishments and budgets.

The JNAC budget for 2006-07 is:

Medical Testing

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what medical tests are carried out on those (a) entering and (b) leaving each of the armed forces. [101067]

Derek Twigg: Prior to entry to the armed forces, individuals routinely undergo a comprehensive medical assessment. The following minimum examinations are undertaken:

Those with a medical history of certain problems, or where an abnormality is discovered on the above, may undergo additional testing or referral to a specialist.

On leaving the armed forces individuals are required to undergo a medical assessment which is similar to the above, but would not include colour perception testing.

Applicants for some services, branches or trades may require further tests, for example, aircrew routinely undergo the following tests on entry:

Moreover, any applicant might require further tests if clinically indicated.

Mental Health

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) psychologists, (b) psychiatrists, (c) mental health nurses and (d) occupational therapists each service employs; where they are based; and how many of them are uniformed. [101070]

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Derek Twigg: The following table shows the total number of mental health staff employed by the Defence Medical Services:

Royal Navy Army RAF Civilian (non-uniformed)

Clinical Psychologists










Mental Health Nurses





Occupational Therapists





Military Vehicles

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence by what means (a) troops carried aboard the trailer component of a BvS10 Viking all terrain vehicle and (b) other troops carried on such a vehicle acquire situational awareness prior to dismounting. [102643]

Mr. Ingram: Troops carried in the rear cab of a Viking vehicle principally receive situational awareness through continuous radio communication with those in the front cab, who have good visibility. The rear cab also has a rear window from which limited situational awareness can be gained.

The commander of the troops sits in the front cab with the driver, and the vehicle controller is ‘head up’ via the hatch. The front cab has both front and side windows which provide good situational awareness for the commander and the driver.

Operational Allowance

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when details of eligibility for the operational allowance (a) were finalised and (b) will be published. [101363]

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to publish the eligibility criteria for the operational allowance. [104014]

Des Browne [holding answer 20 November 2006]: I refer the hon. Members to my written ministerial statement today.

Pay and Allowances Complaints

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what types of complaints made about pay and allowances on Joint Personnel Administration by (a) Service personnel and (b) civilian staff are (i) recorded and (ii) not recorded; and what factors were taken into account when deciding which categories of complaints to record. [101054]

Derek Twigg: Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) is the pay and personnel system used solely for the armed forces. All complaints made in accordance with the procedures set out in the Armed Forces Personnel Administration Agency's charter of Joint Personnel Administration Services, copies of which have been
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placed in the Library of the House, are recorded. There are 19 categories of complaint and these are set out in the following table.

Pay related Miscellaneous


Business requirement




Enquiry centre

Long service advance of pay




Statutory maternity pay

Charter of JPA Services

Specialist pay


Pay statements





JPA is a new system and the AFPAA's business processes continue to be developed as experience is gained. The method by which the AFPAA categorise complaints has improved since roll-out to the RAF and will continue to mature.


Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the significant long term savings from the reformed armed forces pension arrangements introduced in 2005 referred to in the answer of 7 November 2006, Official Report, column 1487W; and if he will make a statement. [101275]

Derek Twigg: The new Armed Forces Pension Scheme (AFPS 05) was broadly intended to be ‘cost neutral’ at the time of introduction in April 2005 in comparison with AFPS75. The main reasons for introducing the new scheme were to modernise the schemes benefits and at the same time ensure affordability in the future as factors such as increased longevity took affect.

The scheme’s actuary is confident that there will be significant long term savings if a comparison is made between the emerging costs of the new scheme and the costs that would have resulted if we had continued exclusively with the old scheme.

The estimate is that the eventual long term savings will be in the region of £120 million per year once the vast majority of personnel are active members of the new AFPS 05—in about 20 years time. An accurate net present value at this point in time could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

PFI Consultants

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total external spending by his Department was on private finance initiative (PFI) consultants in each of the last five years; how many full-time equivalent consultants were employed over this period; how many billed consultancy days there were in each year; what the implied average cost of each PFI consultant was; how many consultancy firms were used by his Department over this period; and if he will make a statement. [100491]

Derek Twigg: The specific information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at
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disproportionate cost. However, during the last five years MOD spending on consultancy to support teams seeking to engage industry in the delivery of Public Private Partnerships including PFI and wider markets projects has been:

Financial year Spend (£ million)











These figures can be set against the figure of almost £6 billion of private sector capital investment in defence through the PFI to date.

President of the Regiment Institute Shops

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what guidance his Department gives to commanding officers on (a) appointing external commercial businesses to run President of the Regiment Institute shops, (b) the profit margins which such businesses should charge on their sales and (c) overhead costs. [101806]

Derek Twigg: President of the Regiment Institute shops are charities, of which the units’ Commanding Officer is the Managing Trustee. Instructions on the running of PRIs are not issued by the Department as the unit Commanding Officer is fully responsible for the running of their PRI as the Managing Trustee. However, they should be run in accordance with Service Funds Regulations and Defence Council Instructions General 3/2005.

The Commanding Officer may appoint any individual or organisation to manage the PRI, and may set whatever profit levels they see fit. Overhead costs are advised by Defence Estates and include licence to occupy, utility costs and ensuring adequate insurance is taken.


Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what total expenditure was on infantry recruitment in each year since 2001. [101063]

Derek Twigg: Headquarters Recruiting Group, a part of the Army Recruiting and Training Division, is responsible for the Army’s recruitment budget. This budget is not divided into individual components for the recruiting of specific capbadges, but for recruiting as a whole.

In 2006, the Army has conducted specific advertising for the infantry in the form of the infantry multi media campaigns. Costs for these campaigns were £5.25 million and included production and advertising costs. Not all those attracted by this campaign will join the infantry.

The following table shows the Army’s recruiting budget since financial year 2001-02. These figures are inclusive of manning and maintenance of recruiting offices, marketing and advertising and Territorial Army marketing.

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Financial year Expenditure (£ million)











Royal Navy

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the highest percentage of gapped frontline posts experienced was on sailing a Royal Navy ship in the past 12 months. [101061]

Mr. Ingram: The highest percentage of gapped posts reported by a unit at sea over the past 12 months was 22 per cent., reported by HMS Cumberland in October 2006. Manning levels of RN ships are adjusted according to their tasks. HMS Cumberland was at low readiness at the time, predominately carrying out training within UK waters, and a number of her personnel were taking part in career courses and other training ashore.

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