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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

01 Jul 11. Defence Committee, Select Committee ORAL EVIDENCE:
The Military Covenant in action?
Part 1: military casualties
Wednesday 6 July 2011
The Wilson Room, Portcullis House (room subject to change)
Witnesses:
At 2.30 pm
* Surgeon Vice Admiral Philip Raffaelli
* Lieutenant General Sir William Rollo KCB CBE, Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Personnel & Training)
* Air Vice Marshal The Honourable David Murray OBE, Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Personnel) and Defence Services Secretary, Ministry of Defence
* Claire Phillips, Deputy Director, Violence, Social Exclusion, Military Health and Third Sector Programme, Department of Health

04 Jul 11. Defence Committee, Select Committee Report. The MoD is unaware of the location of radios worth £184m, and is unable to provide evidence of the existence and condition of assets worth £6.3bn, says the Defence Select Committee in its Report, published today, on the Performance of the Ministry of Defence 2009–10. This shortfall in accounting is reflected in the decision by the National Audit Office to qualify the MoD accounts for the fourth successive year. The Committee finds it, “Surprising and worrying” that this year’s qualification should not have been foreseen by the previous Permanent Secretary, given that it was a clear requirement on all Government departments to adopt the relevant reporting standards from 2009–10. Chair of the Defence Committee, Rt Hon James Arbuthnot, MP, commented, “The MoD’s inability to manage existing resources makes it harder for them to request additional funding. It is also worrying that the work carried out so far to address previously-raised concerns has simply revealed how big these problems are.” The Committee finds it wholly unsatisfactory that the MoD expects that their stock control problems will probably continue for another two to four years. Chair James Arbuthnot, noted, “This is not some abstract problem existing only on paper: equipment is needed by troops in the field and proper logistics are an essential part of effective military operations.” The Report notes the period of intense change that the MoD is going through. It recommends that any cuts to staffing levels must be appropriate for future business need and managed with care. The Committee will study the outcomes of the Report of the Defence Reform Unit—published after the Report was agreed— to ensure that the MoD retains the right skills. This will need to be reflected in decisions on redundancies through voluntary exit and otherwise so that the Department is not left without the right skills and experience required for effective performance. The Committee wishes to be assured that decisions on the scrapping of assets before the end of their useful life have been made on the basis of a sound cost-benefit analysis, taking into account the savings to be achieved and the effect of the loss of capability.

House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for Monday 04 July 2011

Nuclear Submarines

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the number of warheads deployed on each Vanguard class submarine will be reduced to no more than 40; when the stockpile of operationally available warheads will be reduced to no more than 120; and when warheads which have been removed from the operation stockpile will be dismantled. [20822]

Dr Fox: I will write to the hon. Member. Substantive answer from Liam Fox to Caroline Lucas: I undertook to write to you in response to your Parliamentary Question on 20 December 2010 (Official Report, column 992W) about the timescales for the reduction in the number of operationally available warheads and their eventual dismantlement.
I apolo5gise for the delay in responding but it was necessary to undertake some work to implement the first stage of this process before I was in a position to respond to your question. In addition, can I draw your attention to the Statement I made on 29 June 2011 (Official Report, column

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