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Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many investigatory cases have been delayed because of Operation Cube; and when he expects the review to be brought to conclusion. 
Paul Goggins: The Forensic Science Service (FSS) has provided PSNI with a list of those cases that it believes may have been affected. PSNI is presently gathering further information regarding the investigative status of cases on the list and their priority before deciding upon further action. Given the current position of this exercise PSNI are unable to provide a timeline or quantify the cases involved.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many staff funded by the public purse were classified as people without posts in (a) his office and (b) its agencies, prior to the restoration of the devolved institutions. 
Paul Goggins: Currently nil staff funded by the public purse were classified as people without posts in the Northern Ireland Office or any of its agencies prior to the restoration of the devolved institutions.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what the total value of private finance initiative projects included in his Departments balance sheet (a) is in 2007 and (b) was in each of the last five years, broken down by project; 
(3) what value of annual private finance initiative payments by his Department was classified as (a) identifiable and (b) non-identifiable in each of the last five years, broken down by project; 
(4) what value of annual private finance initiative (PFI) payments by his Department were (a) to repay capital and (b) expenditure on other parts of each PFI contract in each of the last five years, broken down by project. 
The NIO has an off-balance sheet commitment under public-private partnership (PPP) which is the Causeway project. The Causeway project is a partnership between Fujitsu Services and the NIO. The PPP contract was let with Fujitsu in August 2003 to deliver a managed service related to the electronic sharing of information across the criminal justice organisations in Northern Ireland over a 10 year period.
Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the potential for the operational review of techniques on forensic analysis (Operation Cube) to delay the conduct of police investigations in Northern Ireland. 
Paul Goggins: An issue has arisen regarding examinations for traces of DNA undertaken by the Forensic Science Service (FSS), during the period December 1999 and September 2005. FSS has provided PSNI with a list of those cases that it believes may have been affected. PSNI is presently gathering further information regarding the investigative status of cases on the list and their priority before deciding upon further action.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much discount in payment for goods and services was lost by the Police Service of Northern Ireland in each of the last three years owing to a failure to pay invoices within the stipulated period. 
Des Browne: There are around 140 Weapon-Mount Installation Kit Land Rovers and 130 Snatch Land Rovers deployed with British forces in southern Afghanistan. I am withholding deployment by region as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness and security of our armed forces.
Derek Twigg: In order to calculate the average cost of one uniformed defence medical services dental officer, average capitation rates have been obtained as follows. These include pay, allowances, earnings-related national insurance contributions and superannuation as well as allowances for support, training and higher formation costs. It has not been possible to obtain historic rates prior to 2004-05.
|Financial year||Total capitation rate (£)|
The pay of all general dental practitioners is calculated from a single incremental tri-service pay spine, and the pay element of the aforementioned figures is based on a simple average across the spine. An average figure has been used in calculating the other elements (as noted) making up the capitation rates.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what incentives are given to garrison commanders and unit commanders to generate income from the hire to the public of military facilities for non-military purposes; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: Under the Treasurys Wider Markets Initiative, garrison and unit commandersin common with the rest of the armed forces, the Ministry of Defence and other Government Departmentsare encouraged to exploit commercially those assets which need to be retained but are not fully used.
The Treasury allows Departments to keep, and use as additional expenditure, the revenue they earn from
Wider Markets. Within the armed forces and MOD, the extra income can be used both towards achieving core objectives and, at budget holders discretion, funding quality of life improvements at the workplace of the unit concerned. Incentives to generate income can be summarised as:
Better value for defence, resulting from this extra contribution to running costs.
More efficient use of irreducible spare capacity.
A benefit to public relations from working more closely with industry and the public. An opportunity for personnel to acquire commercial skills.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the recent Continuous Attitude Survey findings relating to bullying and harassment in the armed forces. 
Derek Twigg: These surveys demonstrate that we are listening to our armed forces personnel. Like any good employer, we need to monitor the long-term perceptions of our people so that we can review our policies.
Harassment and bullying are unacceptable in the armed forces, because of their impact on individuals, team cohesion and thus operational effectiveness. The armed forces are committed to raising awareness that bullying and harassment will not be tolerated, and allegations will be thoroughly investigated and action taken, where appropriate.
The armed forces have entered into formal agreements with the Commission for Racial Equality to promote racial equality and take action to prevent racial harassment and discrimination and, with the Equal Opportunities Commission to prevent and deal with sexual harassment. They also have a range of work in hand in response to the Adult Learning Inspectorate report on Safer Training, the HCDCs report on Duty of Care and Sir Nicholas Blakes report on the death at the Princess Royal Barracks Deepcut.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what criteria apply to applications from (a) service personnel and (b) civilian personnel for places in Service Childrens Education schools. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what mechanisms are in place for discussions between his Department and (a) the Department for Education and Skills, (b) devolved administrations and (c) local authorities on the educational needs of service children; what progress has been made on the implementation of a cross-UK forum to discuss these issues; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: There is regular contact between the Ministry of Defence and the Department for Education and Skills, the devolved administrations and local authorities regarding the educational needs of service children. Both Departments have a nominated lead for these matters and policy discussionssuch as MOD input for the new schools admissions codetake place as required. The MOD Children's Education Advisory Service is the Department's main conduit in dealing with devolved administrations and local authorities for specific casework.
The inaugural meeting of the Service Children's Education Forum was held on 17 April this year and was attended by representatives from DFES, the devolved administrations, the MOD Children's Education Advisory Service and Service Children's Education (for service schools overseas). The forum's main purpose is to raise and resolve educational issues that affect service children, particularly where movement in or between the different countries of the UK or between the UK and overseas is a significant contributing factor. The forum will meet in the spring and autumn of each year.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions his Department has had with the Department for Education and Skills on improving the transfer of the statements of service children with special educational needs and high mobility. 
Derek Twigg: Discussions are continuing with the Department for Education and Skillsand with devolved education authoritiesto identify ways of addressing difficulties that arise when service children with special educational needs move between local authority areas, between the devolved education authorities of the UK or between the UK and overseas. This issue was raised most recently in the service children's education forum on 17 April this year.
The MOD Children's Education Advisory Service provides direct support to service families that have registered a child with special educational needs, which they are advised and strongly encouraged to do. This includes acting with and on behalf of parents in establishing how needs will be met in a new location and advising and accompanying them in dealings with local authorities, education authorities and the SEN and Disabilities Tribunal.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) 51 mm light mortars, (b) 81 mm mortars, (c) 105 mm light guns, (d) AS 90 artillery guns and (e) 227 mm multiple launch rocket systems are (i) in service and (ii) fit for purpose. 
|In service||Fit for purpose|
|(1) 109 awaiting inspection and repair|
(2) Three permanently with industry for reference and test models.
Mr. Ingram: The following table gives details of the total number of armoured vehicles in service. Those vehicles deployed with units and with units used in training are all deemed to be fit for purpose. The remainder of the fleet is undergoing programmed maintenance and repair, in storage, on loan and with the design authority and also used for reference, training aids and specific trials.
|Vehicle type||Fleet size||Fit for purpose|
|(1) Bulldog vehicles are currently in the course of delivery to MOD. The fleet sizes therefore relate to the total requirement and fit for purpose to the number delivered to date.|
(2) Saxon GWR is currently being withdrawn from service.
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