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Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much his Department spent on staff surveys in each of the last five years; and which companies were contracted to carry out the surveys. 
Paul Goggins: In the last five years the Northern Ireland Office (excluding agencies and executive non-departmental public bodies) has conducted two staff surveys, one in 2004 and the other in 2006. These were delivered internally but the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency were paid £2,891 in 2004 and £3,107 in 2006 to analyse the responses from the surveys.
Mr. Hutton: The UK and our ISAF partners are in Afghanistan at the invitation of the democratically elected Government of Afghanistan. Our experience on the ground is that ordinary Afghans welcome the progress that has been made since our deployment.
Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with international counterparts on levels of NATO deployment in Southern Afghanistan in the next two years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hutton: I have regular discussions with my international counterparts on the NATO mission in Afghanistan. We keep UK force levels under constant review to ensure commanders have the capabilities they need to complete their tasks.
President Obama has recently announced the deployment of an additional 17,000 US troops to Afghanistan, the majority of which will be deployed to the south. Currently, there are around 56,000 ISAF troops in Afghanistan, of which approximately 22,000 are based in Regional Command (South).
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) medals for gallantry in the face of the enemy, (b) gallantry medals in other situations and (c) mentions in despatches were awarded in each of the Operation Herrick deployments. 
The George Cross, George Medal, Queen's Gallantry Medal, Air Force Cross, Queen's Commendation Bravery and Queen's Commendation Bravery in the Air are civilian or non-operational gallantry awards although these may still be awarded in theatre.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons his Department is seeking to extend its initial commitment to underwrite risk reduction activity in the Defence Training Review; what assessment he has made of the likely effects on the timetable for the approval of such an extension of the tabling of Early Day Motion 872 on Contingent Liability on Defence Review Training Costs; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The reasons for seeking to extend the risk reduction activity for Package 1 of the Defence Training Review were given in my answer of 9 March 2009, Official Report, column 174W. The tabling of EDM 872 will have no effect on the timetable for the approval of the contingent liability.
Mr. Hutton: The WMIK is used as a convoy patrol vehicle when operational commanders deem it to be a suitable vehicle for this role. The decision is taken by the operational commander in theatre on a case by case basis. The WMIK was first deployed to Afghanistan in 2006 and has been used as a convoy patrol vehicle since then.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment he has made of the effect of funding for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan on the Royal Navy's budget for procurement of (a) aircraft carriers and (b) destroyers; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the effect of funding for ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan on the Royal Air Force's budget for procurement of (a) Eurofighter Typhoons and (b) replacement Harriers. 
Mr. Hutton: The Department does not currently anticipate any impact on current procurement programmes arising from the costs of operations, as the MOD claims from the Reserve the net additional costs of military operations which it incurs, including in-year costs for emerging Urgent Operational Requirements (UORs).
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what research and development projects his Department is funding; how much has been allocated to each such project; and which organisations are undertaking each project. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) does not have a centralised research and development (R and D) budget. Development expenditure varies depending on the requirements of each project. The MOD does publish information on its overall expenditure on research across a wide range of diverse projects in UK Defence Statistics, a copy of which is in the Library of the House. The majority of research expenditure is undertaken by the science/innovation/technology top level budget which placed £531 million of research contracts in 2007-08 and whose budget in 2008-09 is £502 million.
On 26 February the MOD launched the dynamic Defence Technology Plan (DTP) available online at www.science.mod.uk to enable transparent prioritisation and coherence across MOD's R and D programme. The DTP aims to encourage fresh and innovative thinking, to demonstrate the value of the research programme to Defence and to enable more effective working across the R and D community. This is a cost-balanced expression of research priorities for the MOD that takes forward the Defence Technology Strategy (DTS), published in October 2006.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with (a) the European Commission and (b) the European Defence Agency on the co-ordination of the initiative on the European market for security and defence equipment and technologies. 
Mr. Hutton: The Ministry of Defence has regular contact with the European Commission and the European Defence Agency, principally through meetings of the Council of Ministers and biannual European Defence Agency Ministerial Steering Boards.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effects of the restrictions on the procurement of security and
defence equipment and the transfer of such technologies among member states on the capacity of the Government to contribute towards meeting the objectives of the European Security and Defence Policy. 
Mr. Hutton: The two draft Directives on defence procurement and the transfer of defence-related products are intended to increase transparency and interchange in the European defence equipment market. These measures should enhance the ability of all member states, including the UK, to contribute more effectively to meeting the objectives of the European Security and Defence Policy.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with the European Commission on standardisation within the European security and defence technological and industrial base. 
Mr. Hutton: The MOD has had little direct contact with the European Commission on this subject. The discussions that have taken place have been limited to agreeing an order of preference for the selection of standards to be used in Defence Procurement. Agreement was reached in 2008 that, where appropriate, European, international, and national civil standards should be used. After that in the order of preference, commercial standards widely used by Industry should be applied in preference to international military alliance standards such as those used in NATO and national Defence Standards.
The MOD has been involved indirectly with the Commission through a contract they awarded to the Centre de Normalisation (CEN), the European Civil Standards Organisation, to conduct work on standardisation systems in defence industries, and subsequently to develop a European Handbook for Defence Procurement. Its aim is to establish best practice in the application of standards for specified technology areas in support of defence procurement. The MOD is a member of a multinational group of Government experts and other stakeholders contributing to this work.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department made of the potential effects on the safety of Rachel Reid of its decision to recall Colonel Owen McNally. 
Mr. Hutton: I can confirm that a British Army officer was arrested in Afghanistan and returned to the UK on suspicion of breaching the Official Secrets Act. Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, it would be inappropriate to make any further comment at this time.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the standard operating procedure for a submarine following a collision is; and whether HMS Vanguard surfaced immediately after its collision with Le Triomphant. 
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