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Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what multi-activity contracts the Army has; and what the (a) scope of activities, (b) monetary value and (c) date of expiry of each is. 
Catering, retail and leisure;
Waste management and cleaning services;
Pest control; and
Laundry and tailoring services (including footwear repair).
|Formation||Contract location||Contract expiry date||Contract value (£ million)|
|(1) The contract has options to extend it by up to three years.|
Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the store of cluster bombs at RAF Welford has been removed since the Government signed the Oslo convention; and whether any cluster bombs remain in the UK. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: We will have eight years, from entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions for the UK, to destroy all cluster munition stockpiles under UK jurisdiction and control. Lord Malloch Brown said in another place on 3 June 2008 that it was his expectation
that there will be no such weapons on British Territory at the end of the eight year period.
Concerning any cluster munitions stored on UK territory but under United States control, we are engaged with the United States in order to meet the eight year deadline. All UK cluster munition types have been withdrawn from service. A progressive UK cluster munition disposal programme has begun, with some munitions already destroyed. We expect that all UK stockpiles will be destroyed by 2013 which we anticipate will be four or five years ahead of the deadline.
Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what mechanisms his Department uses to monitor levels of compliance across military bases with the Governments commitments on cluster munitions under the Oslo Convention on Cluster Munitions. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: All UK cluster munitions, prohibited once the Cluster Munition Convention enters into force, were withdrawn from operational service on 30 May 2008, when the Convention was adopted. All were immediately segregated for disposal to prevent use and transfer and some have already been destroyed.
Those that are awaiting disposal are stored in a number of secure licensed munitions storage locations and, as such, all cluster munitions are fully accounted for at all times. The MOD has contractual control and oversight over all disposal contracts and disposal certificates are issued when each cluster munition has been destroyed. The MOD carries out checks on contractors to ensure compliance. There is no scope in the disposal contracts for a disposal contractor to do anything other than destroy the munitions. Furthermore, cluster munitions are recorded on the Departments inventory and explosives safety management IT systems, which means that they can be tracked and prevented from being inadvertently issued for either operational or training purposes.
In withdrawing these munitions from service on 30 May 2008, the UK complied with the spirit of the Convention immediately and well ahead of ratification at which point the provisions of the Convention will become a legal requirement.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The DTR Package 1 Project continues to move forward. A final clarification and confirm exercise, evaluating the Metrix Consortium's revised proposals, is now nearing completion. The focus of the project team's and the Metrix Consortium's effort is on improving certainty of the programme, affordability, maturing the project agreement and in preparing to implement some early works activities to ensure that the contract can be signed in 2010.
Metrix, furthermore, are undertaking a number of key activities with the support of the MOD which include environmental and other survey work at St. Athan, and development of the construction proposal with a view to submitting a planning application before the summer.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is on the period in which suppliers to his Department are paid; and whether his Department issues guidance on the prompt payment of invoices. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: The Department currently aims to meet the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act requirement of paying valid bills within 30 calendar days of receipt by allowing up to 19 days for MOD branches to confirm that the services or goods supplied have been satisfactorily delivered and then 11 calendar days for the Financial Management Shared Service Centre (FMSSC) to check the invoices and make payment. The FMSSC has introduced daily payment runs to enhance its flexibility in providing a prompt and efficient service to industry and the smaller supplier.
The Department is reviewing the processes associated with the overall payment cycle and is working towards meeting the Governments 10 day target set for small and medium enterprises. Once this work is complete it should ensure that the Department is able to measure the 10 day target and report on performance against it. The 10 day target will apply to all MOD suppliers, irrespective of size, as it would be impractical to differentiate between small and medium size enterprises and others.
The guide does not apply to goods and services covered by the electronic P2P purchasing arrangements as payment advice for this type of invoice is issued separately to suppliers. The FMSSC also operates a help desk facility to assist suppliers with their enquiries.
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of contractors and suppliers to (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have reported that they are compliant with the Governments security standards following publication of the report, Data Handling Procedures in Government, and the accompanying document, Cross-departmental Actions: Mandatory Minimum Action, on 25 June 2008. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: MOD is a large organisation with a commensurate number of contractsalmost 23,000 contracts were placed in Financial Year 2007-08. MOD is in the process of confirming full compliance with all its suppliers and expects to complete this task by end March. As an initial step those defence contractors who have declared to Defence Security and Safety Assurance (MODs Accreditation Authority), a requirement to have a connection to MODs restricted network (the RLI) or work electronically at confidential or above, have been asked to confirm their compliance with MODs List-X Notice on laptop and media encryption policy, issued in response to the data handling review. Some 73.3 per cent. have confirmed compliance. A further 8.3 per cent. have confirmed that they do not currently comply but have (or are in the process of) submitting risk balanced cases to describe how they are mitigating these risks together with plans to address shortcomings. 18.3 per cent. are still to respond formally and are being hastened.
Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost of maintaining the databases owned and managed by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies was in (i) 2006, (ii) 2007 and (iii) 2008. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth:
Databases can vary in their size and scope from small, locally maintained systems held on standalone computers to those used more widely across the Ministry of Defence. There is therefore no centrally held record of all databases owned and managed
by the Department and its agencies and the cost of maintaining them in 2006, 2007 and 2008 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Kevan Jones: This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. All expenditure must comply with the principles of propriety set out in Managing Public Money and in the Treasurys handbook on regularity, propriety and value for money.
Accessibility to expenditure information on discrete items and services is largely determined by the MODs Chart of Accounts (Joint Service Publication 530), copies of which are placed in the Library of the House for each financial year. It is also published in the MODs Publication Scheme at:
Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Chesterfield (Paul Holmes) of 24 November 2008, Official Report, columns 897-8W, on departmental ICT, how many internal investigations have been held into the (a) loss or theft and (b) recovery of (i) memory sticks, (ii) laptop computers, (iii) desktop computers and (iv) hard drives; and how many such investigations related to the loss of material classified as (A) confidential, (B) secret and (C) top secret in 2008. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: The MOD takes any loss of media storage devices very seriously and has robust procedures in place. In response to the findings of the Data Handling Review and Burton Report new processes, instructions and technological aids are being implemented to mitigate human errors and raise awareness of every individual in the Department. Details of the number of investigations into lost/stolen/recovered media storage devices are not collated centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: IT systems can vary in size and scope from those that stand alone on single computers and are locally managed to major systems, such as the Defence Information Infrastructure programme. There is therefore no centrally held record of all IT systems administered by the Ministry of Defence and details of the number of occasions on which each failed in the last 12 months could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
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