The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Quentin Davies): The Ministry of Defence has today published the Defence Technology Plan (DTP) on the www.science.mod.uk website. This is a cost-balanced expression of research priorities for the MOD that takes forward the Defence Technology Strategy (DTS), published in October 2006. The DTP provides clear direction to the R & D community on current priorities for investment in defence technology and seeks fresh, innovative thinking.
The DTP has a dynamic online format, allowing regular updates when necessary. The publication of the DTP completes a suite of MOD strategies and policies that now form MODs Innovation Procurement Plan. As part of the commitments set out in the Innovation Nation White Paper, published in March 2008, the MODs Innovation Procurement Plan explains the hierarchy and roles of MODs existing documents that describe our approach to innovation:
The Defence Industrial Strategy
The Defence Technology Strategy
The Innovation Strategy
Technology Partnership in Defence
The Council discussed the Russia-Ukraine gas crisis and the Commissions recent Second Strategic European Energy Review (SEER2) (Council Document 15944/08). Ministers reiterated their support for the SEER2 and agreed Council conclusions, which will be submitted to the Spring European Council scheduled for 19-20 March.
This was followed by a policy debate on measures to promote oil and gas security, based on questions prepared by the Czech presidency. Ministers generally endorsed the Commissions objectives on oil stocking and gas security of supply, although the presidency noted the need for a balance between the harmonisation of objectives and flexibility in member states obligations in meeting them.
Finally, the Commission and presidency presented information on a number of international energy-related events which have taken place or are due to take place under the Czech presidency, including the Sofia Energy Summit and the Hungarian Nabucco Summit. Slovenia spoke about its candidature for the seat of the Agency for the Co-operation of Energy Regulators (ACER).
The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Jacqui Smith): The Government have made a commitment to the International Olympic Committee to take all the financial, planning and operational measures necessary to ensure the safety and the peaceful celebration of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Government have now approved the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Safety and Security Strategy which sets out how we will achieve our aim of a safe and secure games in keeping with the Olympic culture and spirit.
The strategy has been developed by the Office of Security and Counter-Terrorism in the Home Office in association with Government Olympic Executive, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), the office of the London Mayor, the security and emergency services and a wide range of other Government Departments and agencies.
The objectives of this strategy will be to: protect Olympic venues, events and supporting infrastructure including the transport networks; prepare for events that may significantly disrupt the safety and security of the games and mitigate their impact; identify and disrupt threats to the safety and security of the games; command, control, plan and resource the security operation; and engage with domestic and international partners to enhance security and ensure the success of the strategy.
This strategy provides a framework for programmes run by the police and other agencies and by ODA and LOCOG. It is integrated with and will draw on resources allocated under the Governments counter-terrorism strategy (CONTEST) and other pre-existing security regimes, such as those governing the transport networks. The strategy benefits from the Governments ongoing work and investment generally in security and law enforcement and in particular the expansion of the UKs counter-terrorism capabilities through the CONTEST programme.
The Government have also endorsed an outline 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Safety and Security National Concept of Operations which describes how the strategy will be delivered. The concept of operations will evolve as work is completed on the broader Olympic infrastructure and as LOCOG and others develop their concept of operations for the games as a whole.
The full strategy, concept of operations and detailed security plans are classified documents and will not be placed in the public domain, but the Government will provide as much information to the House about security planning as possible. Agreement of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Safety and Security Strategy and the development of the national concept of operations ensures that the games security planning remains on track and on budget.
Risk assessment is central to the strategy and to operational planning for 2012 safety and security measures, and activity to mitigate risk is already underway. The
design of the Olympic park, new competition venues and associated infrastructure is being developed by the Olympic Delivery Authority with the full involvement of security advisors from the police and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, with the overall aim that all new construction will meet the Association of Chief Police Officers Secured by Design standards.
The Metropolitan Police have established a dedicated specialist team to police the Olympic park and associated commercial developments, which will reduce the potential for criminal activity by supporting on site security and co-ordinating operational activities. The police are also leading a wider initiative to prevent economic crime opportunities and are working with key Olympic stakeholders, relevant agencies and concerned parties to increase protection against criminal networks and individuals who want to exploit the Olympic economy for their own profit.
The Government and the police are also increasing the capacity of the airwave tetra radio system in advance of the 2012 games to deal with the expected increase in requirement and ensure that the airwave network remains resilient.
On 15 March 2007, my right hon. Friend, the Minister for the Olympics, set out an envelope of financial provision for additional policing and wider security for the Olympic and Paralympic Games of £600 million. The strategy, concept of operations and detailed plans will be delivered within this provision and the security budgets of the Olympic Delivery Authority and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as drawing on the Governments substantial investment in counter-terrorist and other security, law enforcement and resilience measures. This £600 million, together with a contingency of £238 million on which there are currently no plans to draw, and the security budget of the Olympic Delivery Authority are parts of the overall Olympic public sector funding package of £9.325 billion.
This report sets out how we have worked with the World Bank from July 2007 to November 2008. Similar reports will now be published on an annual basis in order to provide more regular and up-to-date reporting and accountability.
The report provides an explanation of major developments in policy and strategy, the UKs engagement and the outcomes. It also explains how bank operations and implementation have been taken forward and highlights examples of major projects and programmes launched.
The Food, Fuel and Financial Crises.
International Development Association Replenishment.
Climate Change and Sustainability.
Making the Bank more Representative and Responsive.
Governance and Fragile States.
Growth and Trade.
In addition the report sets out UK priorities and high-level objectives for engaging with the bank in 2009. These focus on securing optimal bank support to countries dealing with the economic downturn; a stronger bank focus on environmental sustainability, climate resilient development and low carbon growth; improving the delivery and effectiveness of bank assistance and the way it works with others, especially in fragile and conflict affected countries; delivery on gender commitments and stronger focus on supporting women and girls; and improvements in bank governance which increase developing country voice and make it more efficient and effective.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Mr. Michael Wills): The Government published today their response to the consultation paper on the publication of candidates addresses at UK parliamentary elections.
The purpose of this consultation was to seek views on whether the addresses of candidates at UK parliamentary elections should continue to be included on ballot papers and other election documents open to the public. The responses reveal that there are strongly-held views on both sides.
The Government are aware that at least one Member of Parliament intends to table an amendment to the Political Parties and Elections Bill which would remove the requirement for a candidates full home address to appear on publicly available election documents, including the ballot paper.
Copies of the response paper will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses and on the Departments website at: www.justice.gov.uk.