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.