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25 Apr 2007 : Column 1115W—continued

The ATLAS Consortium (comprising EDS Defence Ltd as the principal contractor, with Fujitsu, General Dynamics, EADS and Logica CMG as key sub-contractors) was awarded the DII(F) contract on 21 March 2005 for a period of 10 years following full and open competition. The contract is subject to incremental commitment and implementation and at contract award the Department committed to the first increment only for the provision of a fully networked and managed IT service to around 70,000 user access devices and 200,000 users around the world. The contract was amended on 29 December 2006 to incorporate a second planned increment (2a) which will provide for nearly 44,000 additional user
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access devices and 58,000 user accounts in support of the defence change programme and other identified business priorities. This amendment was made in the light of an assessment of ATLAS' performance in supplying increment 1 up to that point in its delivery schedule. The number of employees within the consortium is a matter for them but it is of the order of 2000, on average.

The number of consultants employed by MOD on the DII(F) project has varied and will continue to vary across the life of the project. As a result, the precise information requested together with the associated expenditure can be provided only at disproportionate cost, when looked at over the total life of the programme from its inception. The total budget for consultants approved to date under the DII programme is £57.5 million (rounded) since the inception of the programme, including work during the concept and assessment phases, leading up to the main competition and subsequently for later increments. As at 18 April 2007 the number directly employed on the project was 164.

Throughout its life, the DII(F) project has been subject to regular review under the Office of Government Commerce gateway review procedure. Those reviews confirmed that the project is proceeding satisfactorily. As a result, I see no need for a further strategic review of the project at this time; the case for it remains valid and the contracted increments are proceeding within budgetary provision.

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many private consultants were employed in each of the last 24 months by the Defence and Communication Services Agency; at what cost; and if he will make a statement; [133006]

(2) how much was spent by the Defence and Communication Services Agency on external management consultants in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [133008]

Mr. Ingram: It is not possible to provide the number of consultants employed as we do not “employ” consultants on an individual basis—we contract with private consultancy companies for a service to provide clearly defined deliverables on agreed packages of work within specified timescales. The procurement of such consultancy assistance from the private sector is called “external assistance”. However, the following table details the cost of engaging external assistance by the Defence Communication Services Agency—now DEandS Information Systems and Services—over the past five years.

£ million

2002-03

20.538

2003-04

27.478

2004-05

33.922

2005-06

34.702

2006-07

(1)24.767

(1) This reflects the last forecast of outturn for financial year 2006-07 as at October 2006. Final figures not expected before early May 2007.

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Departments: Official Hospitality

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was spent on hospitality by his Department in the financial year 2006-07. [133250]

Derek Twigg: As in previous years, we will publish this information in the MOD’s annual report and accounts. I cannot therefore give a figure at this stage as the accounts are currently subject to audit by the National Audit Office. Copies of the annual report will be placed in the House Library on publication and made available on the departmental website at www.mod.uk. I expect this to be before the summer recess.

Departments: Redundancy

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many people in his Department participated in (a) involuntary and (b) voluntary staff exit schemes in each year since 1997-98; and if he will make a statement; [131546]

(2) how many people in his Department who participated in (a) involuntary and (b) voluntary staff exit schemes in each year since 1997-98 were paid between (i) £0 to £25,000, (ii) £25,001 to £50,000, (iii) £50,001 to £75,000, (iv) £75,001 to £100,000 and (v) over £100,000; and if he will make a statement. [131551]

Derek Twigg: The Ministry of Defence records the number of people who leave the Department early but the records do not always show whether an individual has left under an early release scheme or whether the departure was for voluntary or compulsory reasons. The following table reflects the data held for the period requested and where we know it, whether they have left voluntarily or involuntarily. “Unconfirmed” is used where we do not know whether the departure was on voluntary or involuntary terms:

Voluntary Involuntary Unconfirmed Grand total

1997-98

600

655

475

1,730

1998-99

120

640

410

1,175

1999-2000

245

720

720

1,685

2000-01

220

430

710

1,365

2001-02

120

430

435

990

2002-03

170

435

195

800

2003-04

195

640

925

1,755

2004-05

265

330

450

1,045

2005-06

950

320

455

1,725

2006-07

650

330

595

1,575

Note:
All numbers are rounded to the nearest 5 and may not sum to the total figure precisely.
Source:
DASA (Civilian)

To provide the specific information on the sum that individuals were paid against each price band would require a Departmental-wide trawl. This could be done only at disproportionate cost.


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Iraq: Peace Keeping Operations

Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been achieved since October 2006 on military reform in the Iraqi provinces of (a) Al Basrah, (b) Al Muthanna, (c) Dhi Qar and (d) Maysan; and if he will make a statement. [132523]

Des Browne: 10 Division of the Iraqi Army, which covers all four provinces, has made significant progress. This was recently highlighted in Maysan when security responsibility for the province was transferred to the Iraqis. This transition occurred in Al Muthanna and Dhi Qar provinces in July and September 2006 respectively.

In October 2006, 10 Division’s capability was demonstrated when it took the lead in the later phases of Operation Sinbad in Basra, operating without overt coalition assistance. Elements of 10 Division are also supporting the Baghdad security plan. Coalition forces continue to provide training and mentoring and much remains to be done in the areas of logistics and leadership.

Operational control of 10 Division was transferred to the new Iraqi military headquarters in Baghdad in January 2007. This transfer of command and control is a critical step toward handing over responsibility for delivering security in southern Iraq.

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the reasons for the number of personnel listed as having sustained disease or non-battle injury during November 2006 as part of Operation Herrick and Operation Telic; and if he will make a statement. [132849]

Des Browne: The temporary increase in levels of disease or non-battle injuries in both Operations Telic and Herrick was a result of the roulements in both theatres. An increase in those being treated for diarrhoea and vomiting type illnesses is common at such times, largely as a result of the climatic, food and environment changes experienced by those deploying into operational theatres. While such symptoms are unlikely to result in a patient being admitted to a hospital in the UK, individuals are admitted to hospital in theatre as returning them to barracks may lead to the spread of disease.

Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) the net cost has been of the British military operations in Iraq in each year from 2002-03 and (b) the predicted cost is of continued British military presence in Iraq, broken down by month. [133408]

Des Browne: The costs of operations are calculated on a net additional basis and audited figures are published each year in the MOD’s annual report and accounts. The total of the annual audited figures for the costs of operations in Iraq for the years 2002-03 to 2005-06 was £4,026 million. A total estimated cost of £1,002 million for 2006-07 was included in the spring supplementary estimates published in February. Final figures will be published in the MOD’s annual report and accounts for 2006-07.


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It is not possible to provide estimates for future years as planning assumptions are constantly changing with the varying tempo and requirements of the operation.

Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made on information exchange with the US in the last 12 months with regard to achieving sovereign capability on the joint strike fighter; and if he will make a statement. [132906]

Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 27 March 2007, Official Report, column 1440W, to the hon. Member for Romford (Andrew Rosindell).

Rendition

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his answer of 1 March 2007, Official Report, column 1455W, on rendition, whether the bilateral arrangements mentioned apply to state aircraft acting in a civilian capacity. [133763]

Mr. Ingram [holding answer 24 April 2007]: The Department’s bilateral arrangements cover routine flights by military aircraft from the relevant countries transiting UK airspace and landing in the UK. They also apply to other state aircraft landing at UK military airfields on routine business. These arrangements do not provide any form of immunity from customs and immigration procedures, national or international law, or regulations covering safe use of UK airspace. Action would be taken by the appropriate authority with MOD support should illegal activity be detected.

Culture, Media and Sport

British Grand Prix

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent discussions she has had on the future of Formula One Grand Prix racing at Silverstone. [133159]

Mr. Caborn: The Government support and desire a British Grand Prix at Silverstone but our role remains one of dialogue and facilitation.

I have attended a number of meetings to discuss the future of Formula One Grand Prix racing at Silverstone. The most recent meeting was on 20 March with the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC) to discuss their plans for redevelopment of the Silverstone circuit.

Gaming Machines: Standards

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether the testing regime for ensuring that gaming machines comply with the technical standards required under the Gambling Act 2005 has been finalised. [133162]

Mr. Caborn: The testing regime for ensuring that gaming machines comply with the technical standards
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required under the Gambling Act 2005 has not been fully finalised. The Gambling Commission is working closely with the industry to discuss the testing regime and the timetable for those tests, including any necessary transitional arrangements to cover machines already in the market. The aim is for the overall testing strategy to be finalised in good time before the provisions of the Act become effective from 1 September 2007.

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether contractors have been selected to undertake on behalf of the Gambling Commission the tests required to ensure that gaming machines comply with the technical standards required under the Gambling Act 2005. [133163]

Mr. Caborn: The Gambling Commission has invited test houses to apply for approval to carry out tests required to ensure that gaming machines and remote gambling systems comply with the technical standards required under the Gambling Act. All prospective test houses will be required to undergo a Commission assessment on the suitability, integrity and independence of their business. They will also need to demonstrate accreditation to BS/EN ISO 17025, plus any additional features (skills, capabilities, capacity) that may be required to test to the Commission’s technical standards. All test houses which meet the requirements will be granted approval, and operators will be able to choose which approved test house to use. The Commission has received three applications to date.

Horserace Totalisator Board

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what recent discussions her Department has had with personnel from HM Treasury on the future of the Tote; [133566]

(2) if she will make a statement on the progress of the sale of the Tote. [133567]

Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what discussions she has had with the Treasury concerning the potential sale of the Tote; [133738]

(2) what plans she has for the sale of the Tote. [133750]

Mr. Caborn: The Government have received and are considering a bid for the Tote from a consortium of racing interests and the staff and management of the Tote itself. The Government will announce shortly how they intend to proceed.

National Lottery

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the average (a) value of lottery receipts from sales made, (b) number of applications for lottery awards from and (c) number of lottery awards made in (i) England, (ii) the Eastern Region and (c) Castle Point was in each of the last five years. [133448]


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Mr. Caborn: The national lottery operator, Camelot, does not collect ticket sales information on a constituency basis and does not routinely collect ticket sales data on a postcode basis. The most up-to-date sales data by postcode area are available in the Libraries of both Houses and provide information up to 2004. Information about the number of applications for lottery grants is not held centrally and the information requested could only be provided at disproportionate cost.


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