Previous Section Index Home Page

23 Feb 2009 : Column 24W—continued

Army: Contracts

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. [257159]

Mr. Quentin Davies: Multi-activity contracts (MACs) provide soft facilities management services including but not limited to:

In some locations, several MACs are grouped together into a super MAC (SMAC), which is managed by a single point of responsibility.

The following table provides the information requested for the Army’s 19 MACs and SMACs.

Formation Contract location Contract expiry date Contract value (£ million)

2(nd) Division

Scotland (SMAC)



Catterick (SMAC)



North of England (SMAC)



4(th) Division

Mid Hants (SMAC)



Kent (SMAC)



Oxon (SMAC)



Wessex (SMAC)



Surrey (SMAC)



Manston (MAC)



Southwick Park (MAC)



Innsworth (MAC)



Cotswold and Gloucester (MAC)



5(th) Division

East Midlands (SMAC)



East Anglia (SMAC)



Wattisham and Woodbridge (SMAC)



Wales and West Midlands (SMAC)



London District

CapMac (MAC)



Army Recruiting and Training Division

Arborfield (MAC)



Sandhurst (MAC)



(1) The contract has options to extend it by up to three years.

23 Feb 2009 : Column 25W

Army: Vehicles

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost of management of each category of vehicle within the Army's wheeled vehicle fleet. [256427]

Mr. Quentin Davies: The information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Cluster Munitions

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. [255603]

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

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 All UK cluster munition types have been withdrawn from service.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 Government’s commitments on cluster munitions under the Oslo Convention on Cluster Munitions. [256495]

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 Department’s 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.

23 Feb 2009 : Column 26W

Cyprus: Voting Rights

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether British citizens stationed in the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia are entitled to vote. [255861]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Yes.

Defence Training Review Programme

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made on the Defence Training Review programme; and if he will make a statement. [257678]

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.

Defence: Finance

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the effect on UK military operations of changes to the budget for urgent operational requirements. [257881]

Mr. Quentin Davies: There is no such effect whatsoever.

Departmental Billing

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. [256700]

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 Government’s 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.

23 Feb 2009 : Column 27W

Guidance on prompt payment is provided in the form of a Contract Payment Guide available via the MOD website:

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.

Departmental Data Protection

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 Government’s 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. [245321]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: MOD is a large organisation with a commensurate number of contracts—almost 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 (MOD’s Accreditation Authority), a requirement to have a connection to MOD’s restricted network (the RLI) or work electronically at confidential or above, have been asked to confirm their compliance with MOD’s 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.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many reported incidents of lost data there were in his Department in each year from 1987 to 1997. [250736]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: This information is not held centrally for the years requested. This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Databases

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. [256140]

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
23 Feb 2009 : Column 28W
by the Department and its agencies and the cost of maintaining them in 2006, 2007 and 2008 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Flowers

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on (a) pot plants and (b) flowers in each of the last three years. [254874]

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 Treasury’s handbook on regularity, propriety and value for money.

Accessibility to expenditure information on discrete items and services is largely determined by the MOD’s 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 MOD’s Publication Scheme at:

Departmental ICT

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. [255054]

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.

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions an IT system administered by his Department has failed in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [256701]

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.

Next Section Index Home Page