Global Security: Non-Proliferation - Foreign Affairs Committee Contents

Letter from Bill Rammell MP to the Chairman of the Committee

  When giving evidence to the Committee on 4 February I undertook to provide further detail on how we were proceeding with awarding the contract to carry out the clearance of mined areas in the Falkland Islands that was announced in November 2008.

  We are at an early stage in the procurement process and therefore I am unable to provide precise timings, but our aim is to have awarded the contract by the end of this year and for the clearance operation to begin shortly thereafter. In January we engaged Cranfield University, who carried out the Field Survey as part of the Feasibility Study into clearing landmines in the Falkland Islands, to assist in scoping the requirement. When this is complete, which we anticipate will be in April, we will issue the tender document and assess bids as quickly as feasible, in line with domestic and EU procurement regulations.

  The Falkland Island Government was regularly consulted whilst the Feasibility Study was being carried out and we will continue to engage with it. A visit by British Government officials to the Falkland Islands to discuss the issues involved with the Falkland Islands Government is planned to take place in early March.

February 2009

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