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Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Judicial independence is an important facet of the court system and it is not the responsibility of the Government to issue guidelines to sentencers. Statutory responsibility for magistrates' training lies with individual magistrates' courts committees (MCCs).

The magistrates' courts sentencing guidelines are produced by the Magistrates' Association. The guidelines are able to be downloaded from the association website (http://www.magistrates-association.org.uk/) or can be obtained by application to the association's national office at 28 Fitzroy Square, London W1T 6DD.

The Criminal Justice Act 2003 established the Sentencing Guidelines Council, which now assumes responsibility for issuing guidelines to all courts. Guidance on the generic community sentence (into which the community punishment order will be absorbed) is an early priority for the council.

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Answer by the Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 26 March (HL Deb, col. 1000), whether they will clarify the cost comparisons between a 40-hour community service and a year in prison; and on what basis these comparisons were made.[HL2275]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The average cost of a 40-hour community punishment order is £706. This figure is derived from a costing exercise carried out last year with all probation boards and includes overheads of local board HQs and training of probation officers. This is the minimum duration of a community punishment order, and therefore the minimum cost of such an order.

The average annual cost of custody per prisoner in 2002–03 was £36,268. Joan

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Sentencing Advisory Panel has produced advice on the use of community service punishment; if so, whether they will place it in the Library of the House; and, if the panel has not produced such advice, whether it is intended that the matter will be considered by the Sentencing Guidelines Council.[HL2295]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Sentencing Advisory Panel has not produced advice on the use of community punishment. One of the first tasks of the Sentencing Guidelines Council will be to produce guidelines for all courts on the new generic community sentence, which will subsume the community punishment order.

REME Volunteers Battalions: Wheeled Recovery Vehicles

Earl Attlee asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the establishment of Foden and Scammell EKA recovery vehicles in 101 Battalion REME(V); and what was the holding on 9 March; and [HL2341]

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    What is the establishment of Foden and Scammell EKA recovery vehicles in 102 Battalion REME(V); and what was the holding on 9 March; and[HL2342]

    What is the establishment of Foden and Scammell EKA recovery vehicles in 104 Battalion REME(V); and what was the holding on 9 March.[HL2343]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach): Both 101 Battalion REME (Volunteers) and 102 Battalion REME (Volunteers) are established to hold 20 wheeled recovery vehicles, while 104 Battalion REME (Volunteers) is established to hold 18.

Their curent holdings, as at 1 April 2004, are:

UnitHolding
101 Battalion REME (Volunteers)17 (11 Foden and 6 Scammell EKA)
102 Battalion REME (Volunteers)21 (11 Foden and 10 Scammell EKA)
104 Battalion REME (Volunteers)13 (5 Foden and 8 Scammell EKA)

Defence Information Systems

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which in-service systems are supported by the command support information systems integrated project team.[HL2352]

Lord Bach: The command support information systems integrated project team supports a number of systems, including:

Royal Navy Command Support System (RNCSS)

Fleet Information Management Unit Support Environment (FIMU)

Royal Air Force Command and Control System (RAFCCIS)

Pilot Direct Broadcast System (PDBS)

Submarine Broadcast Processing System (SMBPS)

Joint Command Systems (Logistics) (JCS(Log))

Land Systems Reference Centre (LSRC)

Environmental Fusion Interpretation and Distribution System (EFIDS) at the Fleet Weather and Oceanographic Centre (FWOC)

Joint Operations Command System (JOCS)

Lychgate

As well as the UK element of:

Battlefield Intelligence Collection and Exploitation System (BICES)

OSIS Evolutionary Development (OED)

Linked OPINTEL Centres Europe (LOCE)

The team also supports a number of classified systems, details of which I am withholding under exemption 1, defence, security and international relations, of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

21 Apr 2004 : Column WA45

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the defence information infrastructure integrated project team met its target of assuming responsibility for the majority of defence information systems by 1 April 2004.[HL2353]

Lord Bach: A target date of 1 April 2004 was set to conclude the transfer of the majority of defence information systems (information infrastructure) into the defence information infrastructure integrated project team (DII IPT). Although a number of factors have impinged on progress during the past 12 months, not least the situation in Iraq, this has been largely achieved.

The remaining transfers are expected to be concluded shortly when final issues are resolved by the exporting organisations. The outstanding transfers are outside the scope of the current DII/future increment 1 migration sequence and thus are seen to have no impact on the overall implementation of the DII programme.

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many full-time and full-time equivalent employees and contractors are currently employed by the defence information systems integrated project team; and[HL2354]

    What is the projected headcount of the defence information systems integrated project team for the next three financial years.[HL2355]

Lord Bach: The current headcount of the defence information infrastructure integrated project team (DII IPT) is some 470 full-time equivalent staff.

It has been necessary in some cases to supplement the skills of the civilian and military staff employed in the IPT by more specific expertise from the commercial sector. In addition, therefore, there are currently eight contractors occupying established Civil Service posts within the IPT.

The current assumption is that numbers in the IPT will remain broadly unchanged over the next three financial years. clean

Ministry of Defence: IPv6

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When all defence computer devices will be IPv6 compliant.[HL2357]

Lord Bach: The Ministry of Defence is developing a strategy for the adoption of IPv6. The adoption of IPv6 is planned to be gradual, since the department has adequate IPv4 address space to meet its current needs. Since IPv6 and v4 can coexist, no specific date has been set for cessation of the IPv4 service. New projects have been directed by DEC CCII (director equipment capability command, control and information infrastructure) to procure a dual v4/v6 capability and

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work is in hand to identify non IPv6 compliant legacy equipment and the implications of converting to IPv6. The MoD is in the process of applying for the UK MoD IPv6 address space to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).

Astute Class Submarines

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the construction time for future Astute class submarines.[HL2411]

Lord Bach: There are three Astute class submarines currently on order with BAe Systems. Construction time for the first of class is estimated at 95 months followed by 12 months' contractor sea trials. There are contractual incentives on BAe Systems to reduce the construction time for the second and third submarines of the class, but these times have yet to be finalised.

English Language Courses

Lord Chan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What monitoring takes place to ensure that English language courses provided in private schools and colleges in England maintain standards and user satisfaction, particularly among students from China.[HL2256]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): The British Council manages and administers the English in Britain accreditation scheme, a voluntary quality assurance scheme for organisations providing English language teaching services in the UK. Membership of the scheme is open to private language schools, home tuition providers, and further and higher education institutions. The aims of the scheme are to protect international students who are studying English in the UK, including those from China. All member institutions must meet quality standards in the areas of management, resources and environment, teaching and learning, and welfare, and are inspected every four years. todd


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