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The airbridge has provided a consistent and reliable service over the period, moving large numbers of personnel and material into hostile environments under difficult conditions and over strategic distances. Every effort is made to minimise delays.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) fully-armed and (b) partially-armed personnel carriers have been lost due to (i) enemy fire and (ii) accidents in (A) Afghanistan and (B) Iraq since 2003. 
Des Browne [holding answer 1 May 2008]: I am withholding the information requested as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.
Des Browne: We do not routinely collate data on the number of insurgents killed by UK forces in Afghanistan. Collecting accurate information would be extremely difficult, given the dynamic nature of the conflict. As we have repeatedly made clear, the long term means to defeat the insurgency in Afghanistan is through a wide range of military and non-military activities and not through an attritional military campaign. In many instances, therefore, the inevitable risks to our service personnel from trying accurately to collect the information required to answer this question outweigh the benefits from obtaining that data.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) rules, (b) procedures and (c) standards set up by his Department are for (i) quality evaluation, (ii) maintenance and (iii) allocation of housing; when these were last (A) reviewed and (B) modified; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: This Department keeps its estate under constant review to ensure that it is of the right size and quality to meet defence needs. All 70,193 Service Families Accommodation (SFA) properties worldwide are assessed by Grade for Charge (GfC), which takes account the physical condition of the accommodation and other factors such as location and closeness to amenities.
There are four levels of GfC, one being the highest and four the lowest. The Four Tier Grading System (4TG) is normally reviewed every four years and the Services agree how changes, which have taken place during the previous four years, will be reflected in the 4TG Regulations and whether the scoring criteria should be reviewed. However, this Department is currently conducting a review of the 4TG to ensure it is transparent and simple to understand.
Maintenance of SFA worldwide is carried-out under a number of separate contractual arrangements. The majority of properties are maintained by Modern Housing Solutions (MHS) who provide a response maintenance service to occupants via a freephone Helpdesk which prioritises calls on an emergency, urgent or routine basis. MHS also carries out planned maintenance, such as the replacement of items such as boilers and kitchens.
MHS is contractually required to provide this Department with monthly performance statistics and is subject to spot checks and percentage audits of work completed and in progress to ensure that contractual conditions and standards are being met.
Regulations governing the allocation and occupation of Service accommodation are set out in Tri-Service Accommodation Regulations (Joint Service Publication 464) which is reviewed continually, and was last updated in September 2007.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British service personnel were
serving as part of (a) UN and (b) NATO forces at the latest date for which figures are available; and where such forces are stationed. 
Des Browne: As at 28 April 2008 there were 300 UK service personnel deployed on UN operations, 280 of whom were located in Cyprus. Other locations include Georgia, Nepal, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia.
The figure for Afghanistan is artificially high due to the handover period while Relief In Place (RIP) is in operation. The number of personnel in theatre will naturally fluctuate on a daily basis for a variety of reasons, including leave (rest and recuperation), temporary absence for training, evacuation for medical reasons, the roulement of forces and other factors.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Combat Soldier 95 uniforms are part of the Cut and Sew contract awarded to Cooneen Watts and Stone Ltd. in June 2004. The majority of the items are manufactured in China, with some small quantities being made in the UK and Lithuania.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will propose changes to the (a) management and (b) procedures and systems at Atomic Weapons Establishment Burghfield to reduce the likelihood of any future necessary cessation of services on safety grounds; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The nuclear site licensee at AWE Burghfield is AWE plc, which manages the site under Government owned/contractor operated arrangements. The external regulator, the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII), is satisfied that operations are safe and has not taken action to stop live nuclear work at AWE Burghfield. Ministry of Defence officials maintain a constant dialogue with AWE plc and NII colleagues. There is therefore no reason for ministerial intervention.
Derek Twigg: The Departments policy on charging is set out in JSP 368, the MOD Guide to Repayment, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. Where services/facilities are provided to external organisations (including charities), the full costs of those services/facilities should normally be recovered. Consideration is given to abating charges if the benefit to the MOD justifies it.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much has been spent by his Department on the appeal to the Information Tribunal in Campaign Against Arms Trade vs The Information Commissioner and Ministry of Defence (EA/2007/40); and what fees have been paid to his Departments counsel in this case. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Legal fees incurred up to the end of March 2008 in defending the appeal brought by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade were £35,155.12. These are made up of £26,391.29 paid to the Treasury Solicitor and £8,763.83 paid to counsel.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 1 April 2008, Official Report, columns 796W, on what pay bands are applied to press officers in (a) his Department and (b) regional press offices; and how many press officers are in each band. 
Derek Twigg: The Pay bands and number of Press Officers in each band is set out in the following table. This includes staff employed in the Central Press Office in London and Regional Defence Press Officers.
|Pay Bands from 1 August 2007|
|Pay Band||Minima||Maxima||Press Officer N umbers|
It does not include those employed as press officers in the Defence Agencies, the Permanent Joint Head Quarters, single Service Commands or at Unit level, some of whom have a press officer task in addition to their main role.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what his most recent estimate is of the unfunded liability in present value terms of each public sector pension scheme for which his Department is responsible; and on what assumptions for (a) discount and (b) longevity the estimate is based; 
(3) what the (a) rate and (b) cost was of employer contributions for each public sector pension scheme for which his Department has responsibility in each year since 1990-91; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) what the effect on his Departments expenditure would be of increasing the employee contribution to each pension scheme for which his Department is responsible by 1 per cent.; and if he will make a statement; 
(5) what the cash equivalent transfer value is of the public sector pensions of the 10 highest paid members of staff in his Department and its Executive agencies; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: The Ministry of Defence is only responsible for the Armed Forces Pension Scheme (AFPS). The Cabinet Office has responsibility for the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS). The information requested on the AFPS is contained within the AFPS resource accounts which are available in the Library of the House. The first set of resource accounts produced for the AFPS was for financial year 1998-99. These were un-audited as this was regarded as a dry run for resource accounting within the MOD.
The total cash equivalent transfer value (CETV) for the pensions of the 11 highest paid members of the MOD totalled some £13.945 million as at 31 March 2008. Many of these individuals are named in the remuneration reports that form part of the MODs resource accounts and the cash equivalent transfer value of their public sector pensions is therefore reported annually. The remuneration reports are already in the public domain. I have reported 11 highest paid members
of staff because the 10(th) and 11(th) members of staff are on the same salary rate. The CETV figure given includes both armed forces and civilian personnel.
(2) how many of his Departments staff took more than (a) five, (b) 10, (c) 15, (d) 20, (e) 25, (f) 30, (g) 35 and (h) 40 days leave due to stress in each of the last five years, broken down by pay grade. 
Derek Twigg: The MOD reports sickness absence figures over a 12 month period on a quarterly basis and does not report working days lost on a monthly basis. The MOD does not have a specific sickness absence code for stress. Stress falls within the Mental and Behavioural Disorders ICD10 category, which includes anxiety, depression and stress. The following table shows the number of working days lost for Ministry of Defence Civilian personnel(1) which was attributed to Mental and Behavioural Disorders ICD10 category for the 12 month period preceding each quarter point.
(1) This includes all permanent and casual non-industrial and industrial civilian personnel, but excludes Trading Fund (except the 31 December 2007 figure), Locally Engaged Civilian and Royal Fleet Auxiliary personnel.
|Total working days lost due to Mental and Behavioural disorders in the preceding 12 month period|
|(1) Figures from March 2007 onwards are calculated using the Cabinet Office definition of Working Days. Figures prior to this are calculated using the Standardised definition.|
(2 )Total includes Trading Fund personnel, due to a change in definition. Industrial and non-industrial totals may differ from previously published figures for 2007 due to this change in definition.
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