|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Des Browne: Rigid Raider Craft are used regularly as part of boat patrols in Iraq. Commanders make use of all means available to them to transfer personnel, including boats on the Shat-Al-Arab waterway.
Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department is contributing to the cost of treatment of service personnel who are casualties of the Iraq war and its aftermath in NHS hospitals. 
Derek Twigg: Yes. It was agreed in the mid-1990s on the closure of most of the Service hospitals that the Department would pay for all Service patients treated at the NHS Trusts which host the Ministry of Defence Hospital Units (MDHUs) which were set up to train MOD medical personnel.
Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the disbandment of the Iraqi army on security in Iraq; and what progress has been made in re-establishing an Iraqi armed service aimed at maintaining the rule of law. 
Des Browne [holding answer 4 December 2006]: The Iraqi army was disbanded, in March 2003, by the Coalition Provisional Authority. No recent assessment has been made of the impact of this decision upon the security situation in Iraq. Good progress has been achieved with the training and equipping of the Iraqi Security Forces. There are now over 322,000 personnel in the Iraqi Security Forces: over 188,000 in Ministry of Interior forces (which includes police) and over 134,000 in Ministry of Defence forces (which includes Army).
Although late payments of salaries have been experienced by some personnel serving overseas, these were due to the simultaneous introduction of a new system of overseas bank payments, and not the Joint Personnel Administration system.
Late payments have, almost without exception, related solely to the specialist pay and allowances components of total salary rather than the core basic pay component. These issues have now very largely been resolved.
Derek Twigg [holding answer 28 November 2006]: Joint Personnel Administration remains on track to deliver the anticipated benefits of empowering the individual, providing much improved personnel management information, and enabling financial savings through reduced costs of ownership. The system has achieved target implementation dates for both the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy; implementation to the Army remains on track for March 2007.
Following resolution of initial and unanticipated speed of response issues, system performance has been good. Teething problems experienced have been within the bounds of what might be expected from a system of this size and complexity.
Basic Pay for the RAF has, almost without exception, been paid accurately and on time via the system since roll out. Initial inaccurate payments of RAF specialist pay and allowances due to technical problems with the system have largely been resolved. The remaining problems with RAF specialist pay and allowances are primarily due to self service user error or incorrect inputs by unit human resources staff.
Lessons have been learned from the roll out to the RAF, and applied to the Royal Navy roll out that happened on 23 October 2006. This includes reinforcements and additional training for enquiry centre staff, and particular emphasis has been placed upon specialist pay and allowances issues during testing. Enhanced self service user instructions have been introduced, and experienced Royal Navy pay specialists are on hand to provide additional expertise to payroll and enquiry centre teams.
Notwithstanding that the number of users logging into the Joint Personnel Administration system has significantly increased following RN implementation, good levels of system performance have been maintained.
Derek Twigg [holding answer 28 November 2006]: In Afghanistan, access for Royal Navy and Royal Air Force personnel, to the Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) is normally through the deployed units human resource (HR) staff. In Iraq access is through the JPA self-service function.
In addition deployed unit human resource staff have access to their parent units in the United Kingdom. A fast track processes allows HR staff for deployed personnel, to directly call the Armed Forces Personnel
Administration Agencys JPA Operations Room with their inquiries which are given priority. Parent units in the UK are able to do the same if approached by the partners of personnel serving overseas.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many married armed forces service personnel posted abroad with their families have been allocated single living accommodation on arrival in each of the last three years; and what the (a) average and (b) longest period of time is which servicemen or women have had to wait to be housed with their families. 
Derek Twigg: In Cyprus and the Falkland Island, between 2004-06, we are aware of no occasions whereby service personnel entitled to service families accommodation (SFA) had to occupy single living accommodation (SLA). In Gibraltar, in 2005, 10 entitled service families resided in SLA (for an average of six weeks) while waiting to take up residence in SFA.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many reports of boilers and heating systems breaking down in living accommodation for armed forces personnel there were in each of the last three years; and what the (a) average and (b) longest time taken to replace the boiler was in that period. 
Derek Twigg: Information for the years prior to the Housing Prime Contract going live is not held centrally or in a consistent form. It will take a little time to ascertain if a reply can be given without disproportionate cost. I will therefore write to the hon. Member once this has been established, together with the figures since the implementation of the Housing Prime Contract.
Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the remit will be of the futures group at the Meteorological Office; when the group is expected to be established; and how many members it will have. 
Derek Twigg [holding answer 23 November 2006]: The Futures group now referred to as Met Office Consultancy was set up in September 2006. The team is led by two individuals with significant commercial and consultancy experience and currently comprises 10 members of staff in total.
The consultancy group is part of the commercial business area and has the specific remit to provide climate change risk management and scientific advice to existing and new business customers. Met Office Consultancy therefore harnesses the scientific expertise and reputation to address business climate change risk management needs namely: accurate assessment of customer climate change risks, their impacts and consequently the business mitigation plans.
Derek Twigg [holding answer 23 November 2006]: The Met Offices commercial activities have been discussed recently in the context of the Met Office four-year corporate plan which sets out ambitious plans for growth in commercial activities. The increase in commercial activities will have a clear role in the successful future of the Met Office by generating profitable revenue from customers to fund future investment thereby helping to deliver value to the UK taxpayer.
The Met Office was successful in meeting its commercial profit KPT for financial year 2005-06, achieving a figure of £2.9 million against a target of £2.8 million. They are also forecasting to meet their target for commercial profit of £3.6 million in the current year.
Mr. Ingram: There are approximately 230 British military advisers currently deployed specifically to train the Afghan National Army (ANA), and approximately 80 British military advisers currently deployed specifically to train the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF).
In addition, all deployed British military personnel will assist and provide support in training as required, and will act as mentors when working alongside either the ANA or the ISF, but are not deployed specifically for these tasks.
Derek Twigg: The eligibility of an individual for a particular campaign medal is determined by the qualifying criteria for that medal which is decided as early as possible during the campaign by the cross-Government Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals following advice from the MOD. The criteria will include elements such as the operational area, the qualifying period of service within that area, whether that time must be continuous or aggregated and any specific exclusions.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which war correspondents accredited by his Department and deployed to Iraq in March and April 2003 do not qualify for the Iraq campaign medal. 
Derek Twigg: In accordance with DCI Gen 170/04, all Ministry of Defence accredited war correspondents deployed to the qualifying Zones for the appropriate length of time during the related period (a minimum of seven continuous days between 19 March-28 April 2003 for the medal with clasp) are eligible for the award. All accredited war correspondents listed in MOD records for Operation Telic fall into this category and therefore qualify for the Operation Telic Campaign medal with clasp.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the (a) mine and (b) ballistic protection afforded by (i) the BvS10 Viking without slatted armour and (ii) the BAe Land Systems RG-31 Mine Protected Vehicle. 
Derek Twigg: Officers are classed as trained, and are taken on to the trained strength of the Army, upon successfully passing out of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst (RMAS). Prior to completing the commissioning course at RMAS potential officers are classed as untrained and counted on the Armys untrained strength.
Soldiers are classed as trained, and taken on to the trained strength of the Army, once they have successfully passed Phase One Common Military Syllabus (Recruit) (CMS(R)) course together with Phase Two Special-to-Arm (STA) course. While undertaking training (CMS(R) and STA) soldiers are classed as untrained, and counted as part of the Armys untrained strength.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department has a traffic light system in place for processing parliamentary questions, where questions are categorised using a colour code. 
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to extend the role of the Priory Group in treating serving and retired armed services personnel suffering from post traumatic stress and post traumatic stress disorder. 
Derek Twigg: Only serving members of the armed forces or mobilised reservists are referred for treatment at The Priory Group facilities for mental health services. The MOD also provides its own community-based mental health facilities that undertake out-patient care to entitled personnel. In a few cases out-patient treatment is also provided by the Priory Group where a consultant states that a patient requires a short course of outpatient follow-up or continuation of therapy (e.g. cognitive behavioural therapy). Upon leaving the armed forces, or on demobilisation for Reservists, it is the long established practice that responsibility for medical care passes to the NHS. The MOD has no plans to extend the role of the Priory group in its treatment of serving personnel, or to extend this to retired personnel.
Derek Twigg [holding answer 4 December 2006]: The MOD estate is kept under continuous review to ensure that it is the right size and quality to support the delivery of Defence capability. There are no current plans to change the use of RAF Halton, with the exception of a small element which may be affected by the Defence Training Review Rationalisation Programme. A review of officer and airmen development is also under way and this may affect a number of units at RAF stations, including some at RAF Halton. No decisions have yet been taken.
Derek Twigg: The cost of policing at the recent demonstration at RAF Menwith Hill on 7 October totalled £11,786.52. In accordance with the 1989 memorandum of understanding between the United Kingdom and the United States Governments, the United States Government paid for the police officers stationed full-time at Menwith Hill, the cost of which was £2,526.88. The MOD paid for officers deployed for the demonstration from the divisional support group and operational support units, the cost of which was £9,259.64.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|