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The increase in the number of cases in 2006 and 2007 reflects the increased volume of inquests held in Oxfordshire following the provision of additional resources to clear the backlog of inquests into operational deaths overseas.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department's plans are for accommodation disposal in each of the next three years; and how much he expects to be generated by each disposal, with reference to the answer of 16 October 2007, Official Report, columns 936-7W, on Armed Forces Housing. 
Derek Twigg: The majority of Service Families Accommodation (SFA) in England and Wales is leased from Annington Homes Ltd and properties no longer required for defence purposes are returned to the company. Although no receipt accrues to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in respect of properties returned, there are savings in rent, contributions in lieu of council tax and maintenance. The following number of SFA properties are due to be returned to AHL in this and the next three financial years:
Although receipts from the sale of AHL properties is a matter for AHL, the MOD has received some £48 million under its in gain-share agreement with AHL from the sale of properties by the company over the last three years. It should be noted that sales do not necessarily relate to the year the properties are released to AHL.
Receipts from house sales will depend on market conditions at the time of sale, the area and the type of property. To release any valuations we may have carried out ahead of the sale, would, in any case, be likely to influence the market and these are thus regarded as commercially confidential until the sale is complete.
Overseas, the majority of SFA are returned to the host government when no longer needed, but SFA on permanent joint operations bases are owned by the MOD. When they are no longer required, the future of these properties is determined by the MOD.
In respect of single living (barrack) accommodation (SLA), this is usually within the wire of a service establishment and the disposal normally forms part of the disposal of the wider site. Receipts cannot, therefore, be estimated specifically for SLA.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will bring forward proposals to ensure that Ministry of Defence training is not provided to overseas military pilots from regimes associated with (a) repression of minorities and (b) ethnic cleansing. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Ministry of Defence provides training to other countries in accordance with defence policy and wider HMG policy objectives. The countries to which we provide training are under continuous review, and the record of a regime is one of many factors that are taken into account when deciding whether to provide pilot training. Proposals to change policy towards pilot training are brought forward, as necessary, as circumstances change.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 18 February 2008, Official Report, column 87W, on armoured fighting vehicles, how the internal space requirement for the Panther vehicle compares with the Cheetah vehicle; and what the minimum space requirement is. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: For Panther the original Iveco vehicle has five seats, which is reduced to either four or three, depending on the specific Bowman radio installation. In the event of Panther being deployed on operations, there would be a requirement to fit a suite of force protection measures. These can be accommodated in a pod at the back of the vehicle, rather than in the main crew compartment.
Cheetah has six seats, which would reduce to either five or four, depending on the specific Bowman installation. Cheetah lacks the additional equipment stowage area at the back of the vehicle which means that additional force protection equipment would have to be accommodated inside the crew compartment, potentially reducing the available crew space further.
Regarding the minimum space requirements for the protected patrol vehicle programme, for which the Cheetah vehicle was previously considered, I am withholding the information as its disclosure would, or could be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Ministers and officials regularly meet with a wide range of Non-Governmental Organisations to discuss disarmament issues. Any request by Soroptimist International would be considered in the usual way.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Bowman radio system provides (a) secure voice communications and (b) interface with other key battlefield communications at tactical level. 
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many military units raised in the Overseas Territories have served alongside or been embedded in UK units in (a) Iraq, (b) Afghanistan and (c) other theatres in the last two years; and if he will state in each case the (i) numbers, (ii) ranks and (iii) role and function of such units; 
(2) how many military units raised in the Overseas Territories have served alongside or been embedded in (a) UN forces, (b) EU forces and (c) forces of other international organisations involved in military deployments in the last two years; and if he will state in each case the (i) numbers, (ii) ranks and (iii) role and function of such units. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: No military units raised in the Overseas Territories have served alongside or been embedded with either UK forces, UN forces, EU forces or forces of other international organisations on operations over the past two years; although a number of individual volunteers from the Royal Gibraltar Regiment are regularly attached to UK units serving on operations, and a total of 32 individuals up to the rank of Major have deployed in various roles to Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans in the last two years.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was paid by his Department to Capita Group plc and its subsidiaries in each financial year (a) from 2000 to 2003 and (b) since 2005-06; which contracts were awarded by his Department to Capita Group plc in each year since 2000-01 to the most recent available date; what the cost was of each contract; what penalties for default were imposed in contract provisions; what the length was of each contract; whether the contract was advertised; how many companies applied for the contract; how many were short-listed; what criteria were used for choosing a company; what provision was made for renewal without re-tender in each case; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The information held centrally in the name of the Capita Group plc is provided in the following table. Information on contracts with subsidiary companies could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Excluded are any contracts placed on behalf of other Government Departments, joint venture/alliance contracts, contracts placed through collaborative projects such as the Typhoon/Euro fighter and those awarded by the MODs Trading Funds.
|Financial year||Contract payments (£000)|
One contract, currently worth approximately £21,000 has been awarded to the Capita Group since 2000-01. This is a five-year contract for the supply and support of management information software for service childrens education. This contract was not awarded competitively as the source code for the software meeting the defence requirement is proprietary to the Capita Group. No provision was made for penalties, although a standard clause on default provides a remedy for any failure of the
contractor to deliver or perform on time. No provision was made for contract renewal without competition. The expenditure in 2000-01 and 2000-02 represents residual payments made against a contract awarded before 2000.
|Trained Regular Army Officers by Paid Rank and Nationality as at 1 January 2008|
All figures are provisional
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