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Mr. Bob Ainsworth: There are no Royal Air Force aircraft permanently based in Cyprus. However, there is a complement of three contractor owned, Government operated (COGO) helicopters based with UK forces in Cyprus. These helicopters are owned and maintained by the contractor but operated by the RAF and painted with an RAF colour scheme. The aircraft is the Griffin HAR2 and its main role is search and rescue.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Chief of Defence Staff advised the Estonian Defence Minister last year that the United Kingdom is fully supportive of the Estonian Cyber Defence initiative and their endeavours in this important area. However, given the need to co-ordinate Cyber Defence with a number of other Government Departments and allies, our preferred means of support is via virtual participation, rather than attach personnel permanently to Estonia. The United Kingdom is not a founding signatory nation to the NATO Centre of Excellence but our position will be kept under review.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what review of the defence procurement programme is in progress; and when he expects announcements to be made about the next stage in the procurement of (a) future Lynx, (b) the future carrier programme, (c) the Astute programme, (d) JSF, (e) FRES, (f) Type 45, (g) A400M and (h) Nimrod MRA4. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth
[holding answer 6 May 2008]: We are undertaking an examination of our planning assumptions for equipment over the next 10 years, with a view to bearing down on cost increases to equipment
programmes and shifting the overall balance of defence procurement to the support of operations. This will provide an important input to our next planning round.
We announced on 8 May 2008 that we have provisionally selected the Piranha 5 as the preferred design for the Future Rapid Effect System (FRES) utility vehicle. We announced on 20 May 2008 that the MOD is ready to go ahead with the contract signature for the future aircraft carriers. Any further announcements on individual projects will be made when appropriate.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the projected financial costs are for each service of each equipment procurement project expected to come on stream in each year from 2010 to 2015; what the individual payment terms of each project are; and from which budget the funding for each will be derived. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The detailed financial data for the Departments equipment projects forms part of the internal advice to Ministers on the overall affordability of the Defence programme and contains information which is commercially sensitive. I am therefore withholding this information as its release would, or would be likely to prejudice commercial interests. Financial data relating to some of these projects, however, can be found within the National Audit Office Major Projects Report 2007 Project Summary Sheets, (HC 98-11 Session 2007-08 dated 30 November 2007), as published by the Stationery Office and available on the NAO website at:
In line with Government policy and resource accounting principles, the level of future fees will be dependent upon the level of the MODs spectrum use at that time. The MOD will consult shortly on the management and marketing of the UK Defence spectrum.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what, in near cash terms, are his Department's planning round 2008 Top Level Budget (a) resource and (b) capital allocations are for financial years (i) 2009-10 and (ii) 2010-11. 
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his statement of 12 November 2007, Official Report, column 500, that his Department and the Treasury would share the costs of urgent operational requirements above a mutually agreed total, what the mutually agreed total for the 2008-09 financial year is. 
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many receptions he has hosted and funded in his capacity as Secretary of State for Defence in the last 12 months; which individuals and organisations (a) were invited to and (b) attended each reception; and what the cost was of each reception. 
Derek Twigg: We intend to publish an annual list, ahead of the summer recess, providing information relating to official receptions hosted by Ministers in the Department during the course of the previous financial year.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was paid in end-of-year performance bonuses to (a) all staff and (b) staff at senior civil service level in (i) his Department and (ii) its agencies in the 2007-08 financial year; and how many payments were made. 
Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the anticipated operating and non-operating appropriations in aid are for each year of the comprehensive spending review; and whether they were included in the near cash resource and capital departmental expenditure limits given in his answer of 10 September 2007, Official Report, column 1893W, on Departments: public expenditure. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Anticipated operating and non-operating appropriations in aid are published in Departmental Estimates. Operating and non-operating appropriations in aid were included in the 2006-07 outturn figures quoted in my answer of 10 September 2007, Official Report, column 1893W.
Thank you for your letter of 27 March following my response to your Parliamentary Question on 5 March 2008 (Official Report, col 2557-8W) about departmental expenditure. I apologise for the delay in replying.
In your original question you referred to my answer of 10 September (Official Report Column 1893W). I answered two questions from you on departmental expenditure on that day and regrettably the wrong Hansard reference was referred to in my reply.
In answer to your question, the estimated Appropriations-in-Aid for the CSR years are as follows:
These anticipated receipts were taken in account when setting our near cash and capital departmental expenditure limits given in my answer of 10(th) September. It should be noted that these are estimates and are subject to a number of changeable factors (e.g. property prices and levels of assets disposals). I will place a copy of this letter in the Library of the House.
I apologise for the inconvenience this has caused.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the Defence Analytical Services Agency report, Evaluating the Move from Input to Output Price Indices in Price Escalation clauses-Final Report. 
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether (a) UK citizens born in the UK, (b) UK citizens born abroad and (c) foreign nationals recruited into his Department and its agencies are subject to (i) UK and (ii) overseas criminal record checks; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: All recruits to the Ministry of Defence, whether service or civilian, are subject to checks to ensure their reliability and suitability for the post in question. In addition, certain posts are restricted to UK citizens. For the majority of posts in the MOD and the armed forces, national security vetting is required. This includes a full criminal record check of both spent and unspent convictions on the police national computer in accordance with the then Prime Ministers statement on vetting on 15 December 1994, Official Report, columns 764-66W.
Where it is judged that national security vetting is unnecessary and the level of risk is acceptable, the Baseline Personnel Security Standard is applied. This requires recruits to declare unspent convictions against which random checks are carried out. When individuals will be working with children or vulnerable adults, any such checks are supplemented by checks with the Criminal Records Bureau.
These regulations apply to all UK citizens resident in this country, regardless of their place of birth. The same applies to foreign citizens who are eligible to apply for civil service and armed forces posts.
Work to improve access to overseas criminal conviction data is being taken forward by the Home Office and I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, my hon. Friend the Member for Hackney, South and Shoreditch (Meg Hillier) to the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Ruffley) of 4 February 2008, Official Report, columns 824-25W.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the naval reactor test establishment at Dounreay will be decommissioned; and what plans his Department has for the subsequent use of the facility. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: No final decisions have yet been made, but current plans assume the de-commissioning of the naval reactor test establishment would begin after 2022 and will take several years to complete. An option for bringing this forward is being investigated. No decisions have been made as yet regarding the future use of the facility.
Des Browne: The UK commitment to the EU Battlegroup roster for July to December 2008 will be met by forces from the Small Scale Focused Intervention Battlegroup (SSFIBG) element of the Joint Rapid Reaction Force (JRRF). As this is a national high readiness contingency which is already on standby during the relevant period, there is no additional cost to the UK of providing an EU Battlegroup on standby.
There would be additional costs to the UK were the Battlegroup to deploy. However, an EU Battlegroup is a standby commitment intended for emerging contingencies and it is impossible to predict at the current time whether or not it will be deployed during its standby period. The cost to the UK of deploying an EU Battlegroup would depend on the nature and length of any deployment.
The UK Battlegroup is certified nationally to standards which incorporate and exceed the Standards and Criteria for EU Battlegroups. Other enablers taken from the JRRF also meet these standards. The only cost of certification therefore are the negligible administrative costs associated with the formal notification to the EU that the UK contribution is of sufficient standard, and the administration costs associated with hosting the EU Battlegroup observers day to Exercise Druids Dance on 12 May. Hosting the observers day is not a requirement of EU Battlegroup certification but is encouraged in the EU Battlegroup concept to help share best practice amongst EU member states.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the (a) initial and (b) annual cost of issuing a Veterans ID Card analogous to the current Service ID Card. 
Derek Twigg: In recent years, exploratory work has been undertaken both by the Department and commercial organisations to investigate the potential benefits of a Veterans ID card; this has included a range of options covering a number of potential functions. No precise costings have been undertaken and these would depend on the function chosen and assumptions about uptake. Costs will be reassessed and updated as part of the work to decide how, precisely, to take forward the recommendation for a Veterans ID card in the National Recognition Study undertaken by my hon. Friend the Member for Grantham and Stamford (Mr. Davies).
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 13 May 2008, Official Report, column 1525W, on Future Strategic Tanker aircraft: procurement, whether personnel involved in Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft procurement will be transferred to future procurement programmes. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Staff from the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft Integrated Project Team will be transferred to other programmes as required by the Ministry of Defence to best utilise the knowledge and skills they have gained, and to meet the career aspirations of individuals.
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