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(2) by whom it was initiated
(3) whether it is to be published.
(4) if so when; and
(5) whether they propose to act upon its recommendations.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Henley): BA2000 is an internal and conceptual Ministry of Defence document which addresses in general terms the requirements of the Army at the beginning of the next century. The paper has been generated by the need for the Army to consider how it may have to adapt to changing strategic, technological and other circumstances. It is at an early stage of drafting, and does not make any recommendations; there are no plans for it to be published.
Lord Henley: The NATO nations continue to organise their collective defence against a major external threat through their membership of the Alliance. A significant proportion of their overall defence spending is devoted to forces and activities in support of NATO, but it is not possible to determine a precise figure for the percentage of each nation's defence budget devoted to NATO, since most of the forces so allocated retain national commitments and roles in parallel with their NATO ones. A broad measure of each country's relative financial burden can be derived from comparing defence spending with GDP, as set out in the table below:
|Country||1992 per cent.||1993 per cent.||1994 per cent.|
Lord Henley: The costs of the Army Personnel Centre Implementation Team up to the end of 1994 were approximately £500,000. This is not significant in comparison with the savings which will be realised. The economic advantages of creating the Army Personnel Centre are that co-location of a number of offices will improve both efficiency and cost effectiveness by enabling a fundamental rationalisation and modernisation of the process to the benefit of all members of the Army and of the taxpayer. The decision to locate it in Glasgow was taken after a number of options were subjected to detailed investment appraisal; Glasgow was demonstrated to be the most cost-effective solution of all.
Lord Henley: The offices responsible for the management of Army personnel are to be relocated on the grounds of improved efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Although no estimates will be made of movement costs or redundancy payments until staff preferences have been obtained, these costs will be outweighed by the savings which will accrue.
Lord Henley: Locating the Army Personnel Centre in one building which will use new office information technology will result in significant economies of scale. The buildings at dispersed sites which are occupied at present by Army personnel offices are not suitable for the installation of new technology because of age, construction or configuration.
Lord Henley: The Army Personnel Centre will be equipped from its inception with the necessary information technology systems required to perform all its functions. These systems will be continuously developed to achieve the projected organisational and economic benefits. Kentigern House is a freehold property on the Government's Common User Estate, and is managed by the Department of the Environment on behalf of occupying departments. Ownership of the building will transfer to my department on 1 April next year.
Lord Henley: The costs of refurbishing Kentigern House are commercially sensitive and it is not my department's practice to release such information. Two speculative building projects in Exeter were examined when alternative locations for the Army Personnel Centre were considered during 1993, but these were assessed to be unsuitable and rejected. There was no offer of a purpose-built office block free of charge.
Lord Henley: Although no final decisions have been taken, it is planned to offer part of the Stanmore site to other government departments at present located at a nearby site. If an alternative government user cannot be found, the southern part of the site may be sold for development. Development of the northern part of the site, which lies within the Green Belt, would not be possible.
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