|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 15 October 2009, Official Report, columns 34-36WS, on defence acquisition (independent review), what steps he plans to take to accelerate the improvement of key skills in (a) the Defence Equipment and Support Organisation and (b) his Department's head office; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Quentin Davies: We will be examining options for accelerating skills both in defence equipment and support and in MOD head office, and will be addressing this as part of the Strategy for Acquisition Reform to be published in the new year.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proposed new (a) revenue streams and (b) opportunities to sell products and services his Department has discussed with the Met Office; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: As part of the Met Office's business planning, the development of new and innovative weather and climate services for both Government and commercial customers is being pursued, For example, the Met Office has recently launched new web services for the aviation and marine industries to help with operational decision-making. It has also identified potential for services to better support health care planning and delivery and to help society plan for and adapt to climate change.
Work is also under way on the next steps of the Operational Efficiency Programme review of the Met Office. This will examine, among other things, the potential to expand the Met Office's commercial activities and opportunities to develop specific services in some cases with private sector partners.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what meetings have been held between representatives of his Department and representatives of nuclear test veterans to establish the boundaries of a possible settlement since June 2009; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Kevan Jones: Discussions have been held and are still ongoing between the parties. However, in order to protect the Department's position grounds for appeal were lodged with the Court of Appeal on 12 October, which was the latest date allowed under the permission to do so granted by the High Court. It is important to note that this does not mean a formal end to the attempts to negotiate settlement.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Investment Approvals Board consists of the Chief Scientific Adviser (Chairman), the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, the Chief of Defence Materiel, the Director General Finance, the Director General Defence Commercial and the Director Central Legal Services.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the Minister for Veterans expects to reply to the letter of 23 September 2009 from the hon. Member for Billericay on British nuclear test veterans. 
Regular engagement with the Scottish Executive is maintained through the Submarine Dismantling Project Advisory Group and the Submarine Dismantling Project Steering Group. The Scottish Executive has also been invited to participate in the initial scoping phase, once initiated, of the Strategic Environmental Assessment for the Submarine Dismantling Project.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps have been taken to ensure the eligibility of Territorial Army personnel for (a) annual bounty and (b) the Volunteer Reserve Service Medal following the reduction in Territorial Army training days. 
Bill Rammell: In relation to the steps being taken to ensure opportunities remain for individuals to qualify for their bounty where they have not already done so, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 13 October 2009, Official Report, columns 1020-21W, to the hon. Member for North-East Milton Keynes (Mr. Lancaster).
Given that opportunities will continue to exist for individuals to earn their bounty, eligibility for the Volunteers Reserve Service Medal should be unaffected by the reduction in TA training this year.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the bounty payable to Territorial Army soldiers on completion of annual training requirements will be paid to such soldiers who do not undertake training owing to the withdrawal of training days. 
Bill Rammell [holding answer 15 October 2009]: Like all Government Departments, the Ministry of Defence routinely reviews expenditure to ensure that we allocate our resources where they are needed most. As part of this process senior officials discussed emerging budgetary pressures in the summer and then asked all budget holders within the Department to review all uncommitted funding. Following this review, savings measures that helped balance the financial deficit, and which do not detract from support to current operations, were recommended. Although some of these savings are painful, they had to be taken to ensure that the Ministry of Defence stayed within budget.
Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received from the aluminium industry on the use of recycled cans to make motor vehicles. 
Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department has received from the salvage of carcasses or part carcasses of bovine tuberculosis reactor, inconclusive or dangerous contact cattle sold into the food chain in (a) 1986-96 and (b) 1997 to date; and how such receipts are accounted for in his Department's analysis of its expenditure on bovine tuberculosis. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Receipts in each of the last 10 complete financial years, for cattle culled for TB control reasons, are shown as follows. We are not able to provide details of receipts back to 1986 without incurring disproportionate cost.
In terms of how these receipts are accounted for in analyses of expenditure, we either use a TB compensation figure net of salvage receipts or provide TB compensation spend figures and salvage receipt figures separately.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his counterparts in the government of (a) the Republic of Ireland and (b) New Zealand on the vaccination of badgers against bovine tuberculosis; and if he will make a statement. 
The majority of DEFRA's TB vaccine research programme is led by researchers at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency, who collaborate with researchers in both the Republic of Ireland and New Zealand. DEFRA officials have met with their counterparts from the Republic of Ireland and representatives of the industry-led New Zealand Animal Health Board several times recently to discuss work programmes and ensure a
coordinated research effort, particularly in regards to the design of badger vaccine field studies and licensing requirements for the use of the BCG vaccine against TB.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what arrangements have been put in place to ensure the fairness of the tendering process in circumstances where the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science is both advising his Department on the selection of bids and is itself one of the bidders. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: The arrangements to ensure the fairness of the tendering process in circumstances where CEFAS is both involved in advising on the selection of bids and is itself one of the bidders is set out the governance document 'Marine Environment Protection Fund (MEPF): Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund Delivery Partner on behalf of DEFRA: Who We Are and How We Operate' published on the MALSF website at
The Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund is delivered through the Marine Environment Protection Fund (MEPF) which is administered by CEFAS on behalf of DEFRA and reports to DEFRA though the Marine ALSF Steering Group. The Marine ALSF Steering Group oversees the direction of the fund, develops the commissioning strategy for research and dissemination activities and oversees delivery arrangements.
All funding decisions are made by the MEPF evaluation panel which undertakes the evaluation of tenders. The MEPF evaluation panel is chaired by DEFRA and comprises representation from eight organisations of which CEFAS is one, plus the Marine ALSF Science Co-ordinator who is appointed through an open competition. The MEPF provides the Secretariat function to the evaluation panel and any views and opinions of the Secretariat at the evaluation panel meetings are made as representing the MEPF as a delivery partner. The Secretariat has no decision-making powers or voting rights on the evaluation panel.
The MEPF panel's terms of reference govern the arrangements for ensuring fairness in the evaluation of bids in circumstances where an evaluation panel member is from the same organisation as a bidder. These arrangements involve:
1. All evaluation panels begin with a round-table declaration of any potential conflicts of interest. A two-tiered approach to managing potential conflicts is then followed:
a) Direct involvement-If a panel member is to be part of a project delivery team and/or has helped prepare the proposal, they are required to be absent from the room while the proposal is being discussed and evaluated.
b) Indirect involvement-If a panel member's company/organisation has submitted a proposal but the panel member had played no part whatsoever in its preparation nor was to be involved with the project delivery team, the panel member is required to be a non-voting member of the panel while considering the bid but may remain in the room while the proposal is being discussed and evaluated.
2. Any individual involved in project evaluation other than central Government staff members will be required to sign a
confidentiality agreement to protect the intellectual property of project applicants. These agreements must also be in place for any member of staff who receives bids from the other distributing bodies during the liaison process.
MEPF services are provided by a dedicated team from the Programme Management Group of CEFAS devoted only to the provision of MEPF fund management services.
The MEPF is separate from the Science Delivery Divisions and the Commercial Group of CEFAS and MEPF staff are not involved in MEPF bid preparation or delivery.
CEFAS bidding teams and project leaders are not able to have sight of MEPF Managed Funds papers.
Electronic files are stored on local area, not shared contracts area, with restricted access to the ALSF_MEPF local areas. Paper files are locked away and stored separately away from central contracts file store.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 17 November 2008, Official Report, column 98W, on domestic wastes, what assessment has been made of the effectiveness against objectives of the public affairs work undertaken by Chelgate Ltd for the Waste and Resources Action Programme. 
Dan Norris: No such assessment has been made by DEFRA. The requested assessment concerns the detailed operational activities of the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), and is not therefore a matter for DEFRA. I understand that the chief executive of WRAP has on two occasions offered to meet the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst (Robert Neill) to discuss any issues of concern to him, and I would encourage him to take up that offer.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Average UK prices paid to dairy farmers per litre of milk during 2009 are shown in the table. Daily prices are not collected but the average price for June 2009 was 22.5 pence per litre.
|Average UK farm-gate milk price, 2009|
|Pence per litre|
| Source: DEFRA statistics, DARD, RERAD.|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|