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8 Jan 2007 : Column 80W—continued

Atomic Weapons Establishment

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the projected total cost is of the capital programme at the Atomic Weapons Establishment from 2005 to 2025. [108856]

Des Browne: Additional investment averaging some £350 million per annum over the years 2005-06 to 2007-08 was announced last year. As was made clear in the White Paper (CM 6994) on the Future of the UK’s nuclear deterrent (at para. 5-13), spending plans for subsequent years will be set as part of the Government’s Spending Review process.

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the projected average annual cost is of operating the Atomic Weapons Establishment from 2007 to 2055. [108857]

Des Browne: I have nothing further to add to paragraph 5-13 of the White Paper (Cm 6994) on the future of the UK’s nuclear deterrent, which was published on 4 December.

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when his Department expects to complete the major capital programme at the Atomic Weapons Establishment. [108858]

Des Browne: The investment programme at the Atomic Weapons Establishment is aimed at sustaining the capabilities needed to ensure we can maintain the existing warhead for as long as necessary and to enable us to develop a replacement warhead if that is required. Investment at AWE will continue as long as these capabilities are required.

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Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 5 December 2006, Official Report, column 356W, on bonuses, how many of the bonuses referred to were worth (a) over £10,000, (b) between £5,000 and £10,000, (c) between £1,000 and £5,000 and (d) less than £1,000. [110198]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 18 December 2006]: The information requested will take time to collate. I will therefore write to the hon. Member once this work has been completed and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

Chief of the General Staff: Briefing Group

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the minutes of the July 2006 meeting of the Chief of the General Staff’s briefing group. [112682]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 19 December 2006]: There is no record of the Chief of the General Staff having attended a ‘briefing group’ in July 2006.

Chorley Territorial Army Centre

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether the kitchens at the Chorley Territorial Army Centre have been condemned; [107260]

(2) when he expects work (a) to begin and (b) to be completed on the new kitchens at Chorley Territorial Army Centre. [107261]

Derek Twigg: The kitchens at the Chorley TA Centre have not been condemned. They are structurally sound and are served by correctly-certificated utilities. Much of the kitchen equipment is in need of replacement; and a survey to identify the extent of the work required was carried out on 13 December and will report by 22 December. The work to replace the equipment will commence and complete early in 2007. However, plans cannot be finalised until the survey report has been submitted.

I will write again early in the new year with details of the refurbishment programme of work.

Cluster Munitions

Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which officials from his Department will be attending the conference to discuss a future cluster munition treaty in Oslo on 21 to 23 February 2007. [110451]

Mr. Ingram: We have not yet received any invitation to the meeting in Oslo. We will consider any invitation carefully, including the nature of UK participation.

Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with (a) EU counterparts and (b) Cabinet colleagues on the Norwegian conference to discuss a future treaty on cluster munitions which will take place on 21 to 23 February 2007 in Oslo. [112685]

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Mr. Ingram: There have been no discussions at this level. However, FCO/MOD/DFID officials have continued with interdepartmental discussions on the wider issue of cluster munitions.

The UK's preferred option, as advocated by the UN secretary-general, is to continue our action within the existing framework of the Conference on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW); that is where our focus lies, and that is where the main users' and producers' focus lie.

We will consider carefully any invitation we receive to discuss cluster munitions, but the Norwegians have yet to clarify their concept and a process for any further work on cluster munitions outside of the CCW.


Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he will reply to the letter of 5 October (Your Ref: MC05590/2006), from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire. [107041]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 4 December 2006]: I replied to the hon. Member on 20 December.

Defence Contracts

Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will exercise the Government's special shareholder rights in Devonport Management Ltd. to enable that company to compete freely for defence contracts following his recent discussions with Halliburton Inc; and if he will make a statement. [103373]

Mr. Ingram: Devonport Royal Dockyard is a strategic asset that plays a direct role in maintaining the UK's nuclear deterrent. The Government require assurance that any prospective change of ownership of Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd. (DRDL) or any new influence or control should not adversely affect the essential security interests of the UK. On this basis the Government need to assess whether the planned separation of KBR from Halliburton would be acceptable. MOD is now in active discussion with KBR to ensure that the UK's essential security interests are protected. The ability for Devonport Management Ltd. to bid freely for defence contracts is a key element of these interests.

Defence Export Services Organisation

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many staff are employed by each Defence Export Services Organisation office outside the UK. [108631]

Mr. Ingram: Defence Export Services Organisation (DESO) staff employed in offices overseas are listed in the following table. In addition, staff employed in support of equipment projects in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, where the cost of these staff are met by the customer governments, are included in the second table.

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Country Staff( 1)







Saudi Arabia










South Korea














South Africa








Trinidad and Tobago




(1) Part-time staff are counted as whole

Project office Staff

Saudi Arabia




Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which states were identified as priority or key markets in the most recent Strategic Market Analysis carried out by the Defence Export Services Organisation. [108632]

Mr. Ingram: The Defence Export Services Organisation’s (DESO) Key Markets for 2005 were as follows:

Priority Markets:

Other Key Markets:

A country will only be considered for DESO’s Key Markets list if its inclusion is entirely consistent with the Government’s foreign and security policy. Inclusion in the list does not, however, mean that an Export Licence would be granted for all military equipment. I am withholding information for 2006 on the grounds that its release would prejudice UK commercial interests.

Departmental IT

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many departmental computer stations were affected in April and May 2004 by the Sasser worm. [108707]

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Derek Twigg: All information assurance incidents, including computer and network virus and worm infections like Sasser are recorded in the MOD Incident Response and Alerting Database.

There are no reported instances of MOD computers having been affected by the Sasser worm during the period in question.

Departmental Staff

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many value-for-money exercises on the use of (a) management consultants and (b) professional advisers were conducted by his Department in each of the last five years for which information is available; and if he will make a statement. [103008]

Derek Twigg: The total number of value for money exercises the Ministry of Defence has conducted on the use of management consultants and professional advisors in the last five years is not held centrally and could be only at disproportionate cost.

However, it is a requirement that before any engagement of management consultants or professional advisers within the Department, there is close scrutiny whereby managers have first to consult internally to ensure that the expertise is not available. Once this avenue has been explored, managers must raise a full business case explaining why there is a requirement to procure the work. The business case must state the impact of not doing the work and include a value for money assessment.

Departmental guidance makes it clear that external assistance should be used only when all other options for getting the task completed internally have been considered and rejected.

With effect from 1 April 2006 arrangements have been introduced across the Department to tighten up the process of procuring consultancy even further, to ensure that MOD’s internal consultancy resources are considered before engaging external assistance.

The same principles apply to buying in external assistance as apply to buying any other goods or services for the MOD. These include securing best value for money; ensuring probity and accountability; enabling competition wherever possible; and ensuring compliance with the relevant provisions of UK and EU law.

Ex-servicemen: Falklands War

Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will increase the level of support for veterans of the Falklands War. [107840]

Derek Twigg: The Government are committed to providing excellent support for all veterans with problems arising from their service in the armed forces, irrespective of the theatre in which they served; there have been no unique needs identified among those who served in the Falklands Conflict which would lead us to introduce arrangements specifically for them.

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The support provided includes:

The MOD continues to develop improved services where gaps are identified, for example in the provision of mental health services that meet the particular needs of veterans. Such improvements are for the benefit of all veterans.

Veterans of the Falklands Conflict will have a key role to play in the commemorations of the 25th anniversary of the Falklands Conflict next year and we are working closely with veterans’ associations as we develop our plans.

Ex-servicemen: Glasgow

Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many veterans badges have been allocated to ex-service personnel in the Glasgow, South-West constituency since April 2005. [104838]

Derek Twigg: The information is not held in the format requested and the Veterans Agency cannot identify those ex-service personnel in Glasgow, South-West constituency who have been issued with a lapel badge. However, we can identify from our database that a total of 1,521 lapel badges were issued to ex-service personnel in Glasgow in respect of the period April 2005 to date. Overall the total number of badges issued to date is 346,424.

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