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The average tour interval is 26 months. The Army's harmony guidelines recommend that Army units achieve 24 months between each six-month operational tour. Whilst there are necessary exceptions for certain trades and units, the situation continues to improve and we are generally succeeding in this aim.
Mr. Quentin Davies:
Effective risk management underpins all activities at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), including nuclear operations, technical programmes
and construction work. This is undertaken in close consultation with the Ministry of Defence, regulators and other stakeholders.
Safety cases have been developed for every nuclear process and activity at AWE sites. These are based on the principle that risks should be as low as reasonably practicable. All AWE risks are managed continuously and proactively with stakeholders, in accordance with AWE's licence under the Nuclear Installations Act 1965.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what changes in the volume of (a) intermediate and (b) low level radioactive waste held at the Atomic Weapons Establishment are expected to take place over the next three years. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: The 2007 UK Radioactive Waste Inventory lists the volume of intermediate and low level radioactive waste that is expected, as of 1 April 2007, to arise in future years at the Atomic Weapons Establishment. This document is available from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority website:
It includes forecast quantities for the period 2010 to 2014. It states that the volume of intermediate level waste is forecast to be 1,040 cubic metres and the volume of low level waste is forecast to be 6,200 cubic metres.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the timetable is for submission of all his Department's proposed planning applications at (a) AWE Aldermaston and (b) AWE Burghfield. 
|Project description||Site||Timing of planning application|
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Christmas functions arranged by his Department and its agencies (a) the then Secretary of State, (b) officials of his Department and (c) officials of its agencies (i) hosted and (ii) attended in 2008; what the cost to the public purse was; and if he will make a statement. 
Departmental policy is that Christmas functions are not an appropriate use of the Defence budget and therefore any functions should be fully funded from non-public funds such as staff subscriptions. No Christmas functions were arranged at public expense in 2008, but public funding of £838 was incurred in transporting MOD and service personnel to a Defence Equipment and Support Christmas Carol Concert in Bath.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have spent on Christmas (i) cards, (ii) parties and (iii) decorations in the last 12 months. 
This figure includes printing, purchase and postage, but excludes a small amount spent by defence attaches, for permitted representational purposes which is not identifiable and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 12 October 2009]: The majority of research expenditure is undertaken under the science, innovation and technology budget which in 2009-10 is £471 million. The current planning assumption is that approximately £439 million will be available in 2010-11. Departmental expenditure limits have not yet been set for the years beyond 2010-11.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many first-class flights were taken by each Minister in his Department in 2008-09; and what the (a) origin, (b) destination and (c) cost was of each such flight. 
|(1) Including outward business class fare.|
(2 )Return fare.
|Percentage of invoices paid within 10 days of receipt|
The figures provided represent all invoices processed by the MOD financial management shared service centre and the four MOD trading funds; the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Met Office, the Defence Support Group and the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office.
Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) which requests for information received by his Department under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in 2008 were (a) classified as not resolvable and (b) refused in full; 
(2) in respect of which requests for information received by his Department in 2008 under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 it has received permission to extend the deadline for a response by more than 40 days; and what the reason for the request for an extension was in each case. 
As at the same date, 49 cases required more than 40 days on top of the statutory 20 working day period and have now been closed. As of 30 January 2009, a further 69 cases remained open in which the statutory 20 working day period and a further 40 working days had passed.
The exact text of each of the 791 requests in the categories listed above, and the detailed reasons for each extension, could be provided at only disproportionate cost. However, I will write to the hon. Member to provide a short summary of each request for information received in 2008 that was classified as 'not resolvable' or 'withheld in full', and list any exemptions that applied. I will also set out simplified reasons for those that have required more than 40 working days on top of the statutory 20-working day period.
I promised to write to you to provide more information in response to the written answer I gave you on 20 July, (Official Report, column 882W). I apologise for the time it has taken to reply to you.
Firstly, I must make a correction to the information provided in the answer to the Parliamentary Questions. My reply included the following statement:
"As of 30 January 2009, 258 cases were closed in which the information requested was withheld in full. A further 315 cases were closed and classed as not resolvable. As at the same date, 49 cases required more than 40 days on top of the statutory 20 working day period and have now been closed. As of 30 January 2009, a further 69 cases remained open in which the statutory 20 working day period and a further 40 working days had passed.
The exact text of each of the 791 requests in the categories listed above, and the detailed reasons for each extension, could only be provided at disproportionate cost."
The total of 791 requests given in the answer is incorrect. The total number of cases in the categories listed is 691. This was a typographical error, for which I apologise.
In my response to the question, I promised to provide you with a short summary of each request for information received in 2008 that was classified as not resolvable or withheld in full, and list any exemptions that applied. I will place in the Library of the House a spreadsheet showing a brief summary of the 573 requests, but it has proved impossible to list the exemptions that applied or provide a more detailed summary for all these cases as this could only be provided at disproportionate cost. This is because each record has to be individually retrieved from our management system and the information extracted. However, it has proved possible to provide the full information for 202 cases within the cost limit and this information is given within the spreadsheet.
I also agreed to set out simplified reasons for those that have required more than 40 working days on top of the statutory 20 working day period. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to identify reasons for each individual case. There are many reasons why a response might be delayed. These include, for example, difficulties identifying the appropriate part of the Department to respond, difficulties identifying the relevant information, complex discussions about whether information can be released, resource constraints and consultation of third parties including other Government Departments, commercial partners and foreign governments.
Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many staff in his Department were employed on the management of freedom of information requests submitted to his Department in each year since 2005; and how much his Department spent on the management of such requests in each such year. 
|Number of staffed posts||Cost (£000)|
In addition, staff in some 50 local FOI focal points spend varying amounts of their time on activities related to the management of FOI requests as part of wider responsibilities. Information on the amount of this effort is not recorded centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
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