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8 Apr 2010 : Column 1505W—continued

The figures above refer to the recording of a device that has been located and subsequently confirmed as an IED. Action has then been taken to neutralise the device.

Armed Forces: Housing

Mr. Vaizey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether full-time reserve service personnel are accommodated in married quarters at RAF Benson; and what the cost to the public purse has been of accommodating members of the regular Royal Air Force in premises away from RAF Benson in the last 12 months. [325732]

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Mr. Kevan Jones: Service family accommodation (SFA) is provided to entitled regular service personnel and full-time reserve service (FTRS) full commitment (FC) reservists. However, there are no FTRS FC personnel occupying SFA at RAF Benson.

FTRS limited commitment (LC) personnel do not have an entitlement to SFA, but are eligible to apply for surplus SFA and pay full market rent for occupancy. There is one FTRS LC occupying surplus SFA at RAF Benson, which was surplus when the officer moved in and attracts a full market rent. Exceptionally, given this officer's key role as a family liaison officer, he has not been required to move.

Substitute service family accommodation (SSFA) is only ever used as a last resort in cases where service accommodation either does not exist, or is not available to entitlement. Families allocated SSFA may be invited to move to SFA should it subsequently become available. Given the associated disruption to families and the potential impact on schooling, personnel and their families are not obliged to move.

There are currently 33 families occupying SSFA in the Benson area. The rental cost to the Ministry of Defence for these families over the last 12 months was around £460,000. A more accurate figure cannot be given as properties are vacated at various times.

Cluster Munitions

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a public announcement when the last US cluster munitions have been removed from the UK. [325695]

Bill Rammell: The United States has identified the cluster munitions that it holds on United Kingdom territory as exceeding its worldwide operational planning requirements. We expect that all US cluster munitions will be removed from sites in the UK this year and from all UK territories by 2013 (as declared by Baroness Kinnock during the Cluster Munitions (Prohibitions) Bill Second Reading in the House of Lords on the 8 December 2009, Official Report, column 1020). A statement will be made to confirm the removal of US cluster munitions at that time.

Departmental Data Protection

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many incidents of the loss of confidential data held by his Department have been reported (a) in each of the last five years and (b) in each of the last 12 months. [321731]

Bill Rammell: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) takes any attacks on, or misuse of, its information, networks and associated media storage devices very seriously and has robust procedures in place to mitigate against and investigate such occurrences. Furthermore, new processes, instructions and technological aids are continually being implemented to mitigate human errors and raise the awareness of every individual in the Department with regards to cyber security.

The following tables provide details of the number of reported losses of confidential and personal data centrally reported within the Department from 2005 to 2010.
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Figures will continue to be adjusted to incorporate subsequent recoveries of items, the reporting of additional losses and subsequent clarification of historic incidents. The following figures reflect the latest data held as of 10 March 2010.

In a number of these cases the documents were historical and so the original protective marking would have been eligible to be considered for downgrading. This would certainly reduce any risk of compromise. A number of these incidents came to light as a consequence of thorough housekeeping activities and revised MOD data management practices. It is likely that a large number of instances relate to records of the destruction of documents not being accurately maintained, rather than documents actually having gone missing.

Reported incidents of the loss of confidential data in each of the last five years












The surge in reported incidents from 2008 is largely attributable to two factors. Firstly, there is an increased awareness of the need to report data loss across the Department. Secondly, since the publication of the Data Handling Review and Burton Report, the MOD is now auditing its holdings of both personal data and removable media. This has identified a number of instances where the location of data could not be verified and has therefore been reported as a possible loss-even though in many cases they may have merely been unaccounted for or incorrectly disposed of.

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Reported incidents of the loss of confidential data in each of the last 12 months
Month Total



























Departmental Disciplinary Proceedings

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) disciplinary and (b) capability procedures have been (i) initiated and (ii) completed in his Department in each of the last five years; how much time on average was taken to complete each type of procedure in each such year; how many and what proportion of his Department's staff were subject to each type of procedure in each such year; and how many and what proportion of each type of procedure resulted in the dismissal of the member of staff. [320637]

Mr. Kevan Jones: This information is not held in the format requested. Prior to April 2007 all cases were managed locally and data on the number of cases initiated are not available. Information on average time taken to complete each type of procedure is not recorded, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

In the Ministry of Defence, if an individual's performance is identified as unsatisfactory they may be subject to the Restoring Efficiency process, which involves warning the individual, encouraging improvement, and allowing a reasonable opportunity to improve. If a satisfactory performance is not achieved the individual may be dismissed or downgraded.

The number of Restoring Efficiency and disciplinary procedures initiated in each financial year and the number of dismissals in the same period-but which might include cases initiated in the previous financial year-was as follows:

Restoring Efficiency Disciplinary procedures

Initiated Dismissals Initiated Dismissals Number of civil servants































n/k = Not known

These figures include staff in MOD agencies but exclude trading funds and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

There is also a range of disciplinary penalties less than dismissal: Reprimand; Restitution; Loss of one, five or 10 day's pay; Downgrading with a ban on promotion for up to three years.

Departmental Lost Property

John Mason: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what property has been recorded as (a) lost and (b) stolen from his Department in the last 12 months; and what estimate has been made of the cost of the replacement of that property. [322073]

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Bill Rammell: The requested information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Manpower

Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many staff of his Department presently employed in Kentigern House in Glasgow are engaged (a) solely on duties relating to military staff based in Scotland and (b) on duties relating to (i) military and (ii) civilian staff based (A) elsewhere in the UK and (B) overseas. [325857]

Mr. Kevan Jones: It has not proved possible to respond to my hon. Friend in the time available before Prorogation.

Departmental Publications

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he plans to place in the Library a copy of the most recent report of the Chief of the General Staff's briefing team. [325551]

Bill Rammell: In accordance with the conventions which govern the conduct of government during the pre-election period, the report will be placed in the Library of the House as soon as possible in the next parliamentary term.


Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how often the cross-departmental Gurkha working group has met; and what Government departments are represented on the group; [325684]

(2) what (a) written and (b) other information is provided to Gurkha veterans seeking advice at his Department's resettlement office in Kathmandu, Nepal; [325685]

(3) what steps his Department is taking to inform the Gurkha veteran population in Nepal of their rights of settlement in the United Kingdom; [325686]

(4) how much funding is available for his Department's resettlement office in Kathmandu, Nepal in 2010-11. [325687]

Mr. Kevan Jones: The Cross-Departmental Working Group was set up in June 2009 and has met formally on three occasions, twice in 2009 and once so far this year. As well as the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the UK Border Agency (UKBA), the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the Department for Communities and Local Government, (DCLG), the Department of Health, the Department for Children, Schools and Families, the Cabinet Office, the Foreign Office and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs are members of the Working Group.

The Working Group has also consulted with a wide range of welfare organisations in the course of its work, including the main Service charities: the Gurkha Welfare Trust; the Royal British Legion; ABF The Soldiers' Charity; the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association; and Veterans Aid.

The Gurkha Settlement Office in Kathmandu opened in October 2009 and to date has had nearly 5,000 visits from ex-Gurkhas and their families. The Government of Nepal and all ex-service organisations were briefed by MOD about the role of the office which is to provide
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free help and assistance with the settlement process. This includes information and education about life in the UK in order for the ex-Gurkhas to make an informed choice about settlement, and if they decide to apply for a visa help and advice filling out the visa form, help with finding and completing supporting documentation and a fast tracking system for issuing National Insurance numbers which facilitates claiming benefits in the UK. DCLG are setting up a housing advice centre in the UK to help find appropriate housing and will offer a bond to landlords in lieu of the required rental deposit. The UKBA have also introduced a new stamp on the visa which allows DWP to identify ex-Gurkhas who do not need to satisfy the Habitual Residence Test before benefits can be paid.

In November 2009 and January this year several hundred ex-Gurkha representatives in Nepal were briefed by a joint MOD/UKBA team about the benefits of using the Kathmandu settlement office. A further communications exercise and additional consultation and briefings are planned in April. It is also intended to forward base some of the settlement office staff from Kathmandu to the east and west of Nepal to try and reach those who might not be able to travel to Kathmandu.

A booklet in English and Nepali that explains the cost of living in the UK has been produced at the request of the ex-service organisations, and an updated and more comprehensive book about life in the UK will be issued in Nepal in April. The book, developed in association with ex-servicemen, the service charities and local authorities contains a wealth of information about living in the UK.

To date, the cost of setting up and staffing the Settlement Office is some £20,000 and a similar budget has been earmarked for 2010-11.

Illegal Immigrants

Mr. Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many staff his Department and its agencies have appointed who were later discovered to be illegal immigrants since 2005. [320442]

Mr. Kevan Jones: People employed to work in Government Departments and their agencies, either directly or through a contractor, are required to satisfy requirements on identity, nationality and immigration status prior to the offer of employment. Only two employees of the MOD have been convicted of being illegal immigrants over the last five years.

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