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17 Nov 2008 : Column 137W—continued

Due to the rounding methods used, totals may not always equal the sum of the parts. When rounding to the nearest 10, numbers ending in five have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias.

Armed Forces: Self-mutilation

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many revisions have been made to the Royal Military Police document Guidelines for Commanding Officers following an Incident of Self Harm since 2003; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the most recent version of these guidelines. [236170]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Royal Military Police Guidelines for Commanding Officers following an incident of self harm were withdrawn following the publication on 20 July 2006 of Army General and Administrative Instructions Chapter 110—The Suicide Vulnerability Risk Management (SVRM) Policy, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. They had not been revised prior to this.

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Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence at what rank the military chain of command receives information from the Army Medical Service chain of command communicating confidential medical information on service personnel considered at risk of self-harm. [236186]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Disclosure guidelines for medical officers are set out in Policy Letter 62-03 (Army Suicide Prevention Policy: Guidelines for Medical Officers—Confidentiality and Consent) by the Director General of Army Medical Services. This states that, ‘limited medical disclosure to the Commanding Officer may be justified to protect the patient’. A commanding officer would typically be of Lieutenant Colonel rank.

I will place a copy of Policy Letter 62-03 in the Library of the House.

Armed Forces: Suicide

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of document AGAI 110 on suicide vulnerability risk management. [236165]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Yes, I will place a copy of Volume 3, Chapter 110 of the Army General Administrative Instruction (AGAI) which contains the Army Suicide Vulnerability Risk Management (SVRM) policy in the Library of the House.

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many case histories the Army Suicide Prevention Group has considered in each year since its inception; and what reports the Group has produced; [236171]

(2) on what date the Army Suicide Prevention Group examined the papers relating to the death of Lance Corporal Derek McGregor in Catterick barracks in 2003; and what recommendations the Group made following this examination. [236173]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Army Suicide Prevention Working Group (ASPWG) does not examine or make recommendations or produce reports on individual cases.

The ASPWG has three main functions:

Armed Forces: Vehicles

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many vehicles of each type in the armed forces are able to transport fuel; what the capacity of each is; and how many of each type of vehicle are (a) in service and (b) fit for purpose. [214342]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Details of the MOD bulk fuel carrying capabilities which are currently in service and fit for purpose are set out in the following table. Fit for purpose has been defined as being those vehicles which are capable of being used in whatever capacity they are required for.

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17 Nov 2008 : Column 140W
Vehicle type In service Fit for purpose Capacity (Litres)

Combat Support Tanker (Fuel) (CST(F))




Combat Support Tanker Tactical Aircraft Refueller (CST TAR)




32,000 Litre Fuel Tanker (TTF)




Unit Bulk Refuelling Equipment (UBRE)(1)






Unit Support Tanker (UST)




Pennman Fuel Flatrack




Truck Tanker Ground Fuel




Truck Tanker Ground Fuel, Bulk Carrier




Small Capacity Aircraft Refueller




Small Capacity Aircraft Refueller




Large Capacity Aircraft Refueller




Large Capacity Aircraft Refueller




Trailer Tanker




Large Capacity Aircraft Refueller Trailer




Out of Area Refueller




Truck Fuel Servicing




(1) The unit bulk refuelling equipment is carried by 4 tonne or 8 tonne cargo vehicles, which can carry two or three modules respectively, of 2,100 litres per module.

Mr. Dhanda: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the reasons are for the time taken to develop protective equipment for service vehicles. [236199]

Mr. Quentin Davies: The time taken is dependent on the nature of the threat being addressed and the frequency with which the threat changes. Contributory factors include the level of technological complexity of the protective equipment and the difficulty of integrating the solution onto the base vehicle.

Astute Class Submarines

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the estimated (a) completion and (b) in-service date is for each of the planned Astute-class submarines. [235628]

Mr. Quentin Davies: The MOD currently plans to procure seven Astute submarines. Four submarines are on contract, and in various stages of production at BAE Systems Submarine Solutions facilities at Barrow-in-Furness.

The planned in-service-dates for HMS Astute, the First of Class, Ambush, Artful and Audacious are subject to continuing detailed review by MOD, BAE Systems and other key stakeholders.

AWE Aldermaston

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what role the management consortium of the Atomic Weapons Establishment Aldermaston, AWEML, has played in responding to the improvement notice served by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate of the Health and Safety Executive on 3 April 2008. [235575]

Mr. Quentin Davies: Through its contract with the Ministry of Defence, AWEML is responsible for the safety of operations at AWE sites. This it discharges through its subsidiary, AWE plc, which holds the necessary Nuclear Site Licences and discharge authorisations issued by the external regulators. AWEML provides strategic guidance and direction to AWE plc, particularly in respect of safety and compliance with the regulatory regime. The AWEML board includes an independent safety director, who is engaged specifically to help ensure the correct emphasis and priorities are brought to bear on safety matters at AWE.

With regard to the Improvement Notice issued on 3 April 2008, AWEML scrutinised and endorsed the plan agreed between AWE plc and the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate in response to the issues raised. The AWEML board will be closely monitoring AWE plc's progress to ensure that the plan is achieved.

Ballistic Missile Defence

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the UK's role in the American missile defence programme is; and if he will make a statement. [235988]

Mr. Hutton: The UK provides support to the US missile defence programme by allowing both early warning information from the radar at RAF Fylingdales, and early warning satellite data via a satellite downlink at RAF Menwith Hill, to be routed into the US missile defence command and control system. The UK also has a well-established missile defence technical co-operation programme with the US.

Colombia: Armed Forces

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department has provided military training to personnel of the 14th Brigade of the Colombian army; and if he will make a statement. [235630]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 11 November 2008, Official Report, column 99W to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Lynne Jones).

17 Nov 2008 : Column 141W

Democratic Republic of Congo: Armed Conflict

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Oral Answer to the urgent question from the right hon. Member for Richmond, Yorkshire, of 4 November 2008, Official Report, columns 121-30, on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), what military contingencies are being considered for the deployment of UK armed forces personnel to DRC. [234138]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 10 November 2008]: We are carrying out contingency planning across a range of scenarios relating to the Congo.

We will consider all requests for additional support from the United Nations, but large scale deployments are unlikely in view of our operational commitments elsewhere.

Departmental Internet

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost is of maintaining his Department's website for the 2007-08 financial year; and what the
17 Nov 2008 : Column 142W
forecast costs for maintaining websites within his responsibility are in the 2008-09 financial year. [232804]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Ministry of Defence and armed forces collectively maintain four corporate websites. Identified direct expenditure on running these in the financial year 2007-2008 was as follows:

Website URL FY 2007-08 (£) Forecast of costs FY 2008-09( 1) (£)

MOD Corporate website(2)



Royal Navy(3)



British Army(4)



Royal Air Force(5)



(1) Forecast costs for 2008-09 are based on the best available information.
(2) Figures include staff costs, hosting, licences and maintenance contracts.
(3) Costs of site maintenance, staff costs and hosting the RN site.
(4) Figures reflect hosting, licences, development costs and for FY 2007-08 site re-launch activities. Staff costs are not included as these are shared. Both figures are inclusive of VAT.
(5) Maintenance figures only not including the cost of building new areas on the site or update projects.

The following are the websites for which MOD is responsible, based on an update to the Central Office of Information on 29 Aug 2008.

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17 Nov 2008 : Column 144W
Website URL Forecast of costs FY 2008-09( 1) (£)

Acquisition Operating Framework


Admiralty Leisure


Army Fit


Army Online


British Army Jobs


British Forces Post Office




Chief Scientific Advisor


Competition of Ideas


Grand Challenge


Counter Terrorism Centre


DCSA Catalogue (now ICS Catalogue)



Defence Academy


Defence Analytical Services Agency


Defence Dynamics


Defence Engineering and Science Group


Defence Estates


Defence Export Services Organisation


Defence Image Database


Defence Science and Technology Laboratory


Defence Support Group(7)


Disposal Services Authority


Met Office


MOD Procurement Portal


National Army Museum (NAM)


National Employer Advisory Board


Service Children's Education


Service Personnel and Veterans Agency




UK Defence Standardisation


UK Hydrographic Office


Admiralty charts and publications


Schools—Defence Dynamics


n/a = not available
(1) Includes intranet costs
(2) Included in costs for UKHO
(3) Now incorporated into
(4) Does not include staff costs
(5) Included in costs for + £110 per year for dial-up costs
(6) Now incorporated into
(7) Defence Support Group (DSG) was born of the merger of ABRO and DARA on 1 April 2008. (The annualised cost of maintaining the site is estimated at £40,000).

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