|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his Answer of 4 February 2008, Official Report, column 800W, on Iraq: peacekeeping operations, what information his Department holds on the (a) number and (b) cost to the public purse of private contractors employed by his Department in Iraq. 
Des Browne: Where contractors are employed in Iraq by the MOD, the manpower required forms part of the contract. Each contractor is required to provide reports of the actual numbers of staff employed under each contract. The Department is currently developing a database to record this information centrally, but until it is fully populated, the information is not held centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the armed services are in theatre in Iraq, broken down by (a) sex, (b) age, (c) service and (d) regiment; and how many were in theatre in Iraq in each year since 2003 in each category. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Information on the sex, age and regiment of military personnel deployed to Iraq is not held centrally. Information on the service of military personnel deployed to Iraq is not held centrally prior to December 2005.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the hourly cost of internet access was for (a) frontline troops in Iraq in each month since January 2003 and (b) frontline troops in Afghanistan in each month since January 2001. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The MOD welfare internet service is provided free of charge to personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, it is not possible to provide information on the hourly cost of internet access because of the technical solution that is used to provide the welfare communications service. This involves all voice (telephone) and data (internet) transmissions being combined and sent via a single satellite feed with the MOD being charged for the total number of megabytes of information transmitted.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much free telephone time frontline troops are entitled to in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Iraq; and how much it costs them to top-up phone time by (i) 20 minutes, (ii) 30 minutes, (iii) 45 minutes and (iv) 90 minutes. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Service personnel deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq are entitled to 30 minutes of free telephone time per week. The majority of personnel are able to use satellite cabins to make their welfare calls although those in very austere locations or on board ship will instead use Iridium or INMARSAT satellite phones.
Personnel calling an off-peak UK landline from a satellite cabin are able to top up their phone time at a cost of £2.20 for 20 minutes; £3.30 for 30 minutes; £4.95 for 45 minutes; and £9.90 for 90 minutes. Personnel calling from an Iridium satellite telephone will pay £17.80 for 20 minutes; £26.70 for 30 minutes; £40.08 for 45 minutes; and £80.10 for 90 minutes. Personnel calling from an INMARSAT system will pay £23.40 for 20 minutes; £35.10 for 30 minutes; £52.65 for 45 minutes; and £105.30 for 90 minutes. Iridium and INMARSAT charges are set by third party satellite services providers and not by the MOD communications contractor. Charges for calls to mobile telephones will vary according to the network provider chosen by the individual.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the armed forces who are (a) deployed and (b) awaiting deployment to (i) Iraq and (ii) Afghanistan have not been issued with a pair of Midel or Magnum boots; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne: Since July 2007, members of the UK armed forces deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan have been provided with a pair of Meindl desert boots and a pair of Magnum desert boots as standard. Troops deploying for the winter months are also provided with an additional pair of boots designed for cold and wet conditions.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Iraqi citizens formerly employed by the Ministry of Defence have been recognised by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees as refugees in need of resettlement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: To date, we are aware of one Iraqi civilian formally employed by the Ministry of Defence who has been recognised by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as a refugee in need of resettlement.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of the accuracy of the defence intelligence staff estimates prior to the Iraq war that claims about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction had been exaggerated. 
Des Browne [holding answer 3 March 2008]: On 3 February 2004, the then Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs my right hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) announced the establishment of a Committee of Privy Councillors, to be headed by the right hon. Lord Butler of Brockwell KG GCB CVO, to review intelligence on weapons of mass destruction.
The Terms of Reference of the Committee included investigation of the accuracy of intelligence on Iraqi WMD up to March 2003, examination of any discrepancies between the intelligence gathered, evaluated and used by the Government before the conflict, and between that intelligence and what had been discovered by the Iraq Survey Group since the end of the conflict.
The Butler Committee delivered its formal report Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction (HC898) on 14 July 2004. That report, the conclusions of which the Government accepted in full, constitutes the formal Government review on this matter; no subsequent assessment on this matter has been undertaken within the Ministry of Defence.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Individual defence installations do not routinely publish personnel data, as different organisations and agencies are responsible for the same location or site. Figures for the stationed location of UK Regular Forces are only available at local authority level using centrally held data; to do otherwise would involve disproportionate cost.
6. North Kesteven
7. North Wiltshire
10. West Oxfordshire
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 7 February 2008, Official Report, column 1494W, on military equipment: land mines, when the armed forces procured the Husky, known as Chubby vehicle sets; at what price they were purchased; when they were disposed of; to whom they were sold; and at what price they were sold. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Although Chubby vehicle sets were used in Bosnia in 1996, provided, we believe, as an urgent operational requirement, we no longer hold the relevant procurement records. The Chubby vehicle sets were gifted by the MOD to the Halo Trust on 20 March 2001. The value of the gift is recorded as £27,000.
Pure nuclear materials (i.e. fissile plutonium and uranium) have not been knowingly dumped at sea since 1978. However, laboratory and process waste, contaminated by nuclear materials from both the civil and military sectors, was disposed of from 1978 until 1982 into areas of the north east Atlantic.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Black Watch The 3(rd) Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland assumed the Small Scale Focused Intervention Battle Group role on the 15 February 2008 and will retain this commitment until the 19 of May 2008, when it will hand over to the 2(nd )Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Yes. I will place a copy of the latest Territorial Army Continuous Attitude Survey Technical Annex, produced in April 2007, and the associated questionnaire in the Library of the House.
|Approved WEAG budget (€)||UK contribution (€)||UK contribution in sterling (estimated using the average general accounting rate (GAR) for that year)|
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Prime Minister how much was claimed in reimbursable expenses by Senior Civil Service staff in his Office in the last 12 month period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Prime Minister (1) what the total annual cost of his press office was in each year since 1996-97; what the cost was for each quarter since 1 April 2007; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) pursuant to the answer of 21 February 2008, Question 163573, on the press office budget, for what reasons it is not possible to estimate the expenditure of the Downing street press office for each (a) quarter and (b) year since 31 March 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 22 February 2008, Official Report, columns 1099-1100W. Non-comparable information for previous years is a matter of public record and can be found in the Official Report.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Prime Minister how many press officers were employed in the Downing street press office in each reporting period since 31 March 1997; how many were employed on the most recent date for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 15 October 2007, Official Report, columns 819-20W, and to the answers given by my predecessor (Tony Blair) on 30 November 2006, Official Report, columns 895-6W, 22 March 2004, Official Report, column 561W, 10 April 2002, Official Report, column 11W and 22 November 2001, Official Report, column 471W.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|