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Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 14 October 2008, Official Report, column 1206W, on Sport England: public appointments, what the reason is for the most recent delay in appointing a new chairman of Sport England; and if he will make a statement. 
Andy Burnham [holding answer 27 October 2008]: We have decided to recruit a deputy chair to support the chair. Due to the complementary nature of these roles, the chair appointment has been delayed to allow a single competition process. Both of these posts will be ministerial appointments regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments, and appointed through open competition. Both posts have now been advertised.
The chair and deputy chair will play a critical role in delivering the new Sport England strategy, which aims to build the foundation of sporting success through the creation of a world leading community sports system.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the (a) total payload and (b) flexibility of the weapons system of the (i) Tornado aircraft to be deployed in Afghanistan and (ii) Harrier aircraft to be withdrawn from Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: A comprehensive assessment has been made of the relative capabilities of the Tornado and Harrier Weapons Systems in terms of payload and flexibility. Both aircraft have similar capability and are fully capable of meeting all of their commitments in Afghanistan.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Where service personnel find themselves facing financial difficulty the chain of command, welfare officers and pay staff can offer general guidance and signposting to specialist support agencies where appropriate. Each of the services also offers similar support through the single service websites. The MOD is currently working with the Financial Services Authority to ensure that all service personnel receive financial awareness training.
In addition, the Minimum Drawing Rate ensures that deductions from pay cannot reduce a service person's monthly pay beneath a minimum level. With the introduction of Pay as You Dine, measures are in place to ensure that three meals a day are always available to those facing financial difficulties.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many personnel in (a) single living and (b) service family accommodation have defaulted on their rent payments in the last 12 months. 
Non-service personnel who occupy service accommodation are billed directly but this information is not held centrally and it would incur disproportionate cost to identify how many have defaulted on rent payments.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the NATO-supported centres of excellence in (a) joint air power competence, (b) defence against terrorism, (c) naval mine warfare, (d) combined joint operations from the sea, (e) civil military operations, (f) cold weather operations, (g) joint chemical biological radiation and nuclear defence, (h) air operations analysis and simulation and (i) command and control. 
Mr. Hutton: We sponsor and provide personnel to those COE that generate a capability that we are unable to create in-country or within the existing NATO framework and that are of particular benefit to the UK. Occasionally, we provide UK expertise for limited periods of time to those COE that provide useful capability but which we are unable to support as a full MOU signatory.
HQ Allied Command Transformation is responsible for COE accreditation and oversight. However, we require all UK personnel posted to COE to provide regular reports to the lead organisation within the MOD on the activities and the operational value of the COE. These reports are used to determine future levels of UK commitment.
Currently we support the Joint Air Competence, Defence Against Terrorism, Combined Joint Operations from the Sea and Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiation and Nuclear Defence COE but not the Civil Military Operations, Naval Mine Warfare, Cold Weather Operations, Air Operations Analysis and Simulation and Command and Control COE.
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he has taken to ensure that parents or responsible adults are consulted before the recruitment of minors to the armed services; and what procedures are in place to ensure such consultation takes place in circumstances where the parents of the minor have separated. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: During the recruit selection process staff at the armed forces careers offices provide comprehensive written and verbal guidance to all potential recruits, in particular those under 18 years of age, and their parents regarding their terms of service and rights to discharge. Parents/guardians of applicants aged under 18 are required to complete a formal written consent form before the young person can apply to join and again before the applicant can enter service. The detailed conditions for applicants who are under 18 years of age are:
Where the young person is living with both parents, the signatures of both parents are necessary.
Where the young person is living with only one parent, the signature of that parent is required.
Where the young person is not living with either of his/her parents, the signature of a person (whether or not a parent) who has parental responsibility in respect of the young person, and whose whereabouts are known or can, after reasonable enquiry can be ascertained, is required.
Where the young person is the subject of a supervision order, the signature of a person authorised by the supervising authority is necessary in addition to the signatures referred to above. The date of expiry of the Order is also to be given.
Where the young person is the subject of a care order, the only signature required is that of a person authorised by the local authority concerned.
The Government are strongly in favour of establishing common international standards for the export, import and transfer of conventional arms. That is why the UK has taken an international lead in establishing an Arms Trade treaty (ATT). Together with six other countries, we have been pressing for such a treaty to be agreed at the UN. At this years First Committee of the UN General Assembly, the UK has co-authored a resolution proposing further work at the UN in 2009 aimed at establishing an ATT. Achieving an ATT is a complex process, which will take time, but we have made good progress, and we will continue to work actively towards achieving our goal.
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary launched a new phase of the UKs campaign towards an ATT by hosting a meeting of key stakeholders from industry, civil society, academia and the media in London on 9 September. In addition, I hosted a briefing on 9 October for the London-based Diplomatic Corps setting out the Governments support for an ATT and encouraging active international engagement in the UN process.
Mr. Kevan Jones: Prior to April 2005, data on the number of civil servants promoted in each year since 1998 were not held centrally. To provide the information would require asking Business Partners to trawl their records and this could be done only at disproportionate cost. The number of civil servants who were substantively promoted from April 2005 to date is shown in the following table:
| Note: These figures do not include individuals who advance or progress within a pay band.|
Mr. Quentin Davies: The Department's policy on the acquisition of vehicles, and motor trade assemblies/parts, is to seek best overall economic advantage in the supply arrangements. EC procurement rules prohibit preferential treatment of UK providers and MOD pursues the normal EC prescribed competitive route, where those rules apply.
The MOD does, however, consider wider economic factors, such as the effect on British industry, when looking at the options for significant purchases. The MOD also pursues a policy of maximum competition within the sub-contract supply chain with a view to incentivise innovation and maximise opportunities for small to medium enterprises.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The number of trained UK Regular Forces service personnel who have taken early voluntary retirement is recorded in tables one to eight of TSP5 (UK Regular Forces Outflow From Trained Strength to Civil Life) as outflow type Voluntary Outflow.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer to the right hon. Member for Horsham of 19 June 2008, Official Report,
column 1187W, on Dorneywood: official hospitality, what use his Department has made of Dorneywood for official engagements in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by my hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office (Mr. Watson) on 20 October 2008, Official Report, column 90-91W.
The Government are constantly reviewing application of the code, both domestically and by our EU partners. If cases come to light suggesting that the code is being interpreted inconsistently by our EU partners, the Government pursue this through discussions at the EU Council Working Group on Conventional Arms (COARM) in Brussels which is responsible for the implementation of the code of conduct. The development at COARM of the Users Guide on the Code of Conduct (published in full in this years Annual Report on Strategic Export Controls), has helped to reduce the number of these cases.
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