Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many soldiers of (a) the Welsh Guards and (b) the Royal Welsh Regiment are deployed in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The deployment of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards and elements of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh to Afghanistan was announced by the then Secretary of State for Defence on 16 December 2008.
The number of personnel in units may fluctuate significantly on a daily basis for a variety of reasons, including mid-tour rest and recuperation, temporary absence for training, evacuation for medical reasons, and visits. Units often contain individual augmentees from other units and services, and additional members from the Welsh Guards and the Royal Welsh Regiment may be augmenting other units.
Willie Rennie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the armed forces have resumed (a) front line service and (b) civilian military support duties after being diagnosed with a mental health condition in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: The MOD's Defence Analytical Services and Advice (DASA) organisation has since July 2007 reported on the Psychiatric Morbidity of the UK Armed Forces, and quarterly Reports for the whole of 2007 and 2008 are now available both in the Library of the House and on the DASA website at:
The figures show that, of the 10,103 personnel who attended a MOD Department of Community Mental Health (DCMH) for the first time during this two-year period, 7,101 were assessed as having a mental health disorder of some sort. These included a wide range and severity of neurotic and mood disorders; only 335 were given an initial diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
While records are not collated centrally as to how many of these return specifically to the frontline or to other service duties, overall only around 200 personnel are discharged each year where mental and behavioural disorders are the principal disability. This demonstrates that if personnel do come forward for mental health assessment and treatment, the vast majority can be treated and remain in service.
Bill Rammell: The total number of annual parachute descents by entitled service personnel conducted between 2004 and 2008 from civilian aircraft is provided in the following table. This includes displays conducted by the RAF Falcon display team, whose descents cannot be broken out from the totals.
|Descents from civilian aircraft|
Civilian aircraft make a valuable and cost-effective contribution to parachute training particularly when military aircraft are deployed on other high priority military tasks. The relatively small number of descents made in 2007 is due to an increased availability of military aircraft in that year.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 1 June 2009, Official Report, column 18W, on Ascension Island, when he plans to write to the hon. Member for North East Milton Keynes in response to his query. 
Bill Rammell [holding answer 2 July 2009]: The decision by the Ascension Island Government to remove a variation in the Ministry of Defence's annual property tax liability, which had the effect of almost doubling the amount, is currently being disputed. The MOD, therefore, has not paid this new tax liability in full. Urgent discussions are taking place between the MOD and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office about the amount of property tax owed. We are seeking an agreement that is fair and equitable, and assurance that the services received in return from the Ascension Island Government represent best value for money. I will inform the House once these discussions are complete.
Mr. Kevan Jones: Currently, there are 110 press officers employed across the Department, as recorded in the Central Office of Information's White Book, of which 35 are within the central MOD Media and Communications unit or Regional Defence Press Officer Network. Additionally, there are five press office support staff.
The total includes civilian and military staff working across the Department (including within single services) and are defined as those who directly interface with national or regional media on news issues, and in direct support of operations.
The cost for the 35 press officers and five support staff employed by the central organisation based on capitation rates for 2009-10 is approximately £2.2 million, which includes some £115,000 for the press office support staff.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Fifteen surviving casualties from roulement 9 of Op. Herrick, between 15 October 2008 and 14 April 2009, sustained a traumatic or surgical amputation ranging from the loss of part of a finger or toe up to the loss of an entire limb or limbs.
Bill Rammell: I refer the hon. Member to the answer my predecessor gave on 14 May 2009, Official Report, column 14-16MC, to the hon. Member for Woodspring (Dr. Fox) which provides the actual flying hours completed by Tornado aircraft from 2001-02 until 2007-08. Information prior to 2001-02 is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The actual flying hours completed for 2008-09 are:
|Aircraft||Actual hours flown|
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what percentage of employees in his Department (a) are on a flexible working contract, (b) are on a job share employment contract and (c) work from home for more than four hours a week. 
Ann McKechin: All staff in the Scotland Office are on secondment from the Scottish Executive or the Ministry of Justice. Any member of staff can request a change to their working pattern and line managers consider requests in line with the policy and guidance of the parent Department.
Staff below the senior civil service (92 per cent.) can work to a flexi-time agreement and local records are kept of hours worked; 4 per cent. of all staff work part-time; and 4 per cent. work compressed hours. No staff work on job-share or work from home for more than four hours per week.
Ann McKechin: The Scotland Office occupies premises at Dover House, London and Melville Crescent, Edinburgh. Both buildings provide non standard office accommodation and have listed building status, they provide both office space as well as accommodation that can be doubled up for hosting events. The office occupies a floor area of 927.5m(2) in Dover House and 694m(2) in Melville Crescent.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many (a) attempts and (b) successful attempts were made to gain unauthorised access to each (i) database and (ii) ICT system run by his Department in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
It is not in the interests of the UK's national security for Departments to confirm information on the number of attempts, successful or otherwise, to gain unauthorised access to departmental systems or
databases. Such disclosure could undermine the integrity and security of departmental systems and thereby expose them to potential threats.
The Scotland Office shares an information technology system with the Scottish Executive, who are responsible for the development, administration, security and maintenance of the system. They comply with the mandatory requirements of the Security Policy Framework in relation to information security including managing the risk of unauthorised access to ICT systems.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many (a) photocopiers, (b) scanning devices and (c) fax machines, excluding multi-function devices, there are in his Department; how many there were in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. 
My officials are in regular communication with their counterparts in the Scottish Government and about the information and communications technology system (SCOTS), which the Office shares with the Scottish Government, as well as compatible devices that will help reduce the carbon footprint of the office.
Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland who authored the Scotland Office Background Paper, Scotland and oil, published 18 June 2009; when the Paper was commissioned; what background papers the Scotland Office has published since May 1997; who was consulted in the production of the Paper; what estimate he has made of the cost of (a) producing and (b) printing the Paper; and what steps his Department took to publicise the Paper. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The paper was produced by the Scotland Office to provide a factual analysis of the position to help inform debate. It was prepared over the course of 2009, in consultation with other relevant Government Departments.
Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many air proximity hazards have been reported to the Civil Aviation Authority's UK Airprox Board in each year since 1997. 
|Number of Airprox events|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|