PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS FROM PS2 THE LEADING U.K. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS COMPANY
Written Answers to Questions
Monday 22 July 2002
Private Military Companies
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment has been made of the checks needed to (a) ensure accountability, (b) avoid human rights violations and (c) avoid legal actions by the private military companies; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: The paper “Private Military Companies: Options for Regulation”, which was published on 12 February 2002, examines the various activities of private military companies and sets out options for their regulation. It is a consultation paper, and invites comments from all interested parties by mid-August 2002. A full regulatory impact assessment would be drawn up once final decisions on any legislative proposal have been made.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what private military companies have been granted licences to operate from the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: Private military companies operating from the United Kingdom are not at present subject to a licensing regime in respect of the provision of military services. One of the options set out in the FCO’s Green Paper “Private Military Companies: Options for Regulation”, published on 12 February 2002, is for the introduction of a licensing regime.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the overseas trips on departmental business that have been undertaken in each of the last five years by officials in his Department; and what the (a) cost, (b) purpose and (c) result was in each case. 
Dr. Moonie: All overseas travel by officials is undertaken in accordance with the principles set in Chapter 8 of the Civil Service Management Code, and the detailed rules and guidance set out in the Ministry of Defence Civilian Overseas Travel Manual. The detailed information requested about individual trips is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Comprehensive Spending Review
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many staff have contributed to his Department’s input to the Spending Review. 
Dr. Moonie: The Spending Review involves a comprehensive assessment of the Department’s performance, priorities and resource requirements and a range of staff make a contribution.
British Troops (Accidents and Reparations)
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps are taken to minimise the possibility of an accidental attack on civilians by British troops on active service; and what his policy is on reparations to families of civilians accidentally killed by troops of the United Kingdom. 
Dr. Moonie [holding answer 19 July 2002]: All members of HM forces are carefully briefed on their rules of engagement (ROE) for an operation and on when they may be justified in using force. I am withholding details of the ROE in accordance with Exemption 1 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. Additionally, HM forces take all possible measures in the preparation and conduct of operations to minimise possible loss of civilian life and damage to property.
When compensation claims are submitted, they are considered on the basis of whether or not the Ministry of Defence has a legal liability to pay compensation. Where there is a legal liability to pay compensation we do so.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what charges are made for (a) food and (b) accommodation for British armed forces personnel serving in Afghanistan. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 15 July 2002]: We do not normally charge personnel on operations for food and accommodation.
Defence Medical Services
Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps have been taken to (a) ensure that the Defence Medical