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Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of mandatory senior officers' equality and diversity seminars at the Joint Equality and Diversity Training Centre, Shrivenham; and if he will commission an independent evaluation of the programme. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Senior Officers' Seminar is always well attended and is highly valued by those that participate in it. There has been no formal external evaluation of the seminar and there are no plans at present to commission one.
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the terms of reference for the oversight of the defence training estate by Ofsted are; and what remit inspectors have to (a) monitor and (b) report on measures to address bullying, harassment and ill-treatment. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The terms of reference for Ofsted to inspect training are as follows: to determine the extent to which progress has been made in addressing issues of care, welfare and support for recruits and trainees during initial training including examination of the self assessment process. Ofsted will evaluate the effectiveness of the strategic and operational management of the care, welfare and support for recruits and trainees during initial training and use the Common Inspection Framework (the national framework for inspection of post 16 education and training) to comment on the standard of initial training.
The terms of reference state that Ofsted should take account of the national care standards and safeguarding where relevant, make judgments on strengths and areas for development of initial training, visit training establishments, armed forces careers offices, acquaint and selection centres and service training headquarters and establishments identified as priorities. Under the terms of reference Ofsted meet MOD officials to provide feedback on inspection progress.
Ofsted is currently undertaking inspections following up on work previously undertaken by the Adult Learning Inspectorate on issues of care and welfare, including treatment, bullying and harassment. Additionally, Ofsted will comment on what it has observed in respect of the recruit journey, from contact with the armed forces careers office to phase 1 training. Ofsted will report its inspection findings in spring 2009.
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the timescale is for review of the guidance note for commanding officers dealing with the care and management of under-18s in HM Armed Services; and if he will place a copy of the most recent edition of the guidance note in the Library. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The guidance note for commanding officers who are responsible for the care and management of under-18s in HM armed forces is regularly reviewed and is updated when required following changes in legislation or Service policy. The current guidance note is being updated now to take into account changes in legislation regarding the selling of tobacco products to under-18s and the appointment of the Service Complaints Commissioner. The revised guidance note should be ready for publication shortly and a copy will be placed in the Library of the House.
At the start of 2002-03 Infantry training was conducted as a phase one course at the Army Training Regiments (ATRs) followed by a 14-week phase two course at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick. During 2002-03 a new 24-week combined phase one and two course started at Catterick. So prior to the first full year of the combined course at 2003-04 some of the wastage would have already taken place at the ATRs and the wastage at Catterick reflected only the second part of the training. The figures for 2002-03 and 2007-08 therefore cannot be compared on a like-for-like basis.
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the conclusions were of the 2005 Army-sponsored study on causal factors of self-harm; whether further studies were commissioned as a result of the study's findings; and if he will place a copy of the completed report in the Library. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: A copy of the report, 'Prevention of Suicidal Behaviour Among Army Personnel: In-depth Interviews with Soldiers and Healthcare Providers', including the conclusions, will be placed in the Library of the House.
No further studies were commissioned specifically as a result of this study's findings. However, much progress has been made since 2005 in supporting those who may be at risk of suicide or self-harm. In particular, a suicide vulnerability risk management policy has been put in place to assist in identifying potential suicide victims and provide a structure for support.
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what guidance is available to commanding officers in order to complete their quarterly reports required by Army headquarters; and what data are captured from these reports in order to improve understanding and protection against suicide and self-harm. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Army guidance for Suicide Vulnerability Risk Management (SVRM) is contained within Army General Administrative Instruction (AGAI) Volume 3 chapter 110. This guidance assists commanding officers to identify and manage individuals deemed to be potentially vulnerable in order to put in place the relevant and most appropriate care package.
Units are required to report twice a year via proforma, identifying numbers of incidents of bullying, self-harm and attempted suicide. This reporting helps to further the Army's understanding of risks and trends in order to develop preventative measures and policies.
Once an individual is identified as vulnerable and placed on the SVRM Register, there is a requirement for formal assessments of the individual to take place every three months as part of the Care Assessment Plan (CAP). Guidance on the CAP and how to put it in place with relevant associated measures are described within the document referred to above.
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of (a) the 15 March 2005 version of the Army Provost Manual offering guidance on suspected suicides and (b) any subsequent revised guidance. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Section IX of Chapter 34 of the Provost Marshal (Army) Manual (Volume 5), which covers investigations into undetermined deaths, self-harm and attempted self-harm will be placed in the Library of the House. It was last revised on 15 March 2005 and is the extant version. There has been one Headquarters Provost Marshal (Army) policy note issued on this subject since then, which will also be placed in the Library of the House.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects a pre-construction safety report to be submitted to the Health and Safety Executive's Nuclear Installations Inspectorate on the planned construction of a uranium enrichment facility at AWE Aldermaston. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: There are no plans to build a uranium enrichment facility at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE). Nor has the process of uranium enrichment ever been undertaken at AWE Aldermaston.
AWE currently has the capability to store, cast, machine and recycle enriched uranium. These capabilities are required for the foreseeable future, not only for use in Trident warheads, but also for submarine reactor fuel. Operation of these facilities is licensed by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate. In order to provide this capability into the future, the best value for money option is to build a replacement uranium handling facility. The proposed replacement handling facility programme is in the assessment phase. If this handling facility proceeds to construction, the requisite safety reports will be submitted to meet regulatory requirements.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 26 June 2008, Official Report, column 447W, on AWE Burghfield: planning permission, what the reasons are for the revisions to the timetable for submitting planning applications for new development at Atomic Weapons Establishment sites. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: The overall planning programme remains within the 2005 to 2015 period identified within the AWE Sites Development Context Plan. Some changes within the projected planning submission programme have occurred, reflecting the need to address technical issues and a reordering of priority in some cases. Such changes are to be expected in a complex capital facilities programme.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date the Royal Berkshire Hospital last took part in a Level 1 emergency exercise for an Atomic Weapons Establishment site; and when the hospital is next scheduled to participate in such an exercise. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: The Royal Berkshire Hospital plays an important role in emergency planning for Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) sites and is routinely invited to participate in Level 1 emergency exercises. The hospital last took part in a Level 1 emergency exercise for an AWE site on 30 September 2003. AWE supported an exercise at the hospital involving simulated management and treatment of radioactively contaminated casualties in October 2006. The next Level 1 exercises are planned for late spring (Aldermaston) and autumn (Burghfield) 2009; precise dates have yet to be finalised with the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate.
Mr. Quentin Davies: As I indicated in the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Davies) on 29 October 2008, Official Report, column 1029W, the costs, to the extent that they are not covered by commercial insurance, are still the subject of commercial discussions between the MOD and AWE plc.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what procedures are in place to monitor AWE Management Ltd's retention of a nuclear baseline which demonstrates that its organisational structures, staffing and competences remain sufficient to maintain nuclear safety at the Atomic Weapons Establishment sites operated by the company. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: In common with civil nuclear operators, the Atomic Weapons Establishment sites are licensed by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) and are required to comply with 36 licence conditions. Licence condition 36 requires that any changes to the nuclear baseline organisation for managing safety is monitored, assessed and categorised in terms of its impact on nuclear safety management in order to gain appropriate regulatory approval. The NII monitors AWE compliance against its licence conditions through inspection of processes and procedures.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether AWE plc has complied with the improvement notice served by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate of the Health and Safety Executive on 3 April 2008 in respect of criticality documentation shortfalls. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: The improvement notice issued to AWE plc. by the nuclear installations inspectorate (NII) on 3 April 2008 was served following an investigation into breaches of criticality operating rules at Aldermaston. The notice referred to the need for procedural guidance to have greater clarity. Improvements were sought in respect of the companys arrangements and processes for complying with licence conditions covering operating rules and operating instructions.
AWE plc. has agreed an implementation plan with the NII to meet the aforementioned, which requires the company to complete the necessary improvements by 19 January 2009. The NII has indicated that it is content with AWE plc.s progress and that at no time were there any immediate operational risks from a criticality event.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will undertake research into the merits of a United Kingdom conventional intercontinental ballistic missile programme (a) unilaterally and (b) jointly with the US. 
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost has been of the Defence Information Infrastructure (Future) programme to date; what assessment he has made of the reasons for the time taken by the programme; what estimate he has made of the cost of these delays; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: The NAO Report published 4 July 2008 presented the cost of the Defence Information Infrastructure (DII) Programme as £1.422 billion to 31 March 2008, with an additional £306 million spent on related programmes. As at 30 September 2008, the spend on DII now stands at £1.702 billion, with £372 million for related programmes.
The cost of the delays incurred up until the end of financial year 2007-08 have added an estimated £182 million cost to the programme over and above the original estimate, across the 10 years of the programme.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects a design solution to be available under the Defence Information Infrastructure (Future) programme for the Falkland Islands; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Overseas site solutions are designed to meet individual technical, physical, environmental, communications requirements and circumstances at each location. These necessarily take time to develop. The Defence Information Infrastructure (DII) programme has delivered infrastructure to support the implementation of the Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) application in the Falkland Islands and is currently developing the DII (Future) overseas solution, which should mature during 2009.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the reasons are for the time taken to (a) design and (b) implement an effective encryption mechanism under the Defence Information Infrastructure (Future) programme; and if he will make a statement. 
The time taken to design and implement an effective encryption mechanism for other removable devices and media under the Defence Information Infrastructure (Future) (DII(F)) programme is driven by the need to ensure the designs themselves are robust and capable of countering known and projected threats to the Department's information assets as well as operating correctly when connected to the DII(F) core infrastructure. Devices and their encryption mechanisms must be thoroughly tested and accredited to meet national governmental security standards before they can be deployed.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the completion of an overseas design solution for the Defence Information Infrastructure (Future) programme; what the reasons are for the time taken; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Germany is the major overseas site and at this time some 5,500 Defence Information Infrastructure (Future) DII(F) terminals have been successfully delivered there. Solutions for other overseas sites must be designed to meet technical, physical, environmental, communications requirements and circumstances at these sites, which necessarily take time to deliver. These solutions are expected to mature progressively during 2009.
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