PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS FROM PS2 THE LEADING U.K. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS COMPANY
21 May 2004 DEFENCE
Aircraft Carrier Programme
Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the progress of the new aircraft carrier programme. 
Mr. Ingram: The Future Carrier (CVF) programme remains in the Assessment Phase. Ministers are currently considering proposals on the overall CVF programme, the alliance strategy and on when to proceed to the Demonstration and Manufacture phases. We expect to make an announcement when these deliberations are complete.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to make an announcement concerning the Future Carrier Programme, the Alliance Strategy and the timetable for the demonstration and manufacture phases; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: Ministers are currently considering proposals on the overall CVF programme, the alliance strategy and on when to proceed to the Demonstration and Manufacture phases. We expect to make an announcement when these deliberations are complete.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department’s policy in respect of the proposal to build a high-powered laser facility at AWE Aldermaston has changed since 5 July 1999. 
Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence is currently considering a new proposal for a laser facility at AWE to replace the existing HELEN laser. In 2001, because of time and cost overruns on the United States National Ignition Facility, it was decided not to continue with plans, announced on 5 July 1999, Official Report, column 341W, to build a United Kingdom target chamber attached to that facility.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will promote the benefit of Eurofighter to the Singapore Government. 
Mr. Ingram: This Government are actively involved in promoting Eurofighter Typhoon to the Government of Singapore through the work of the Defence Export Services Organisation. The aircraft has been included on the shortlist to be evaluated for the Singaporean next Fighter Replacement Programme, and a decision is expected early in 2005.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the schedule is for the plan to outsource IT support and provision across his Department; 
(2) what the projected budget is for the (a) outsourced support and provision of IT services for his Department and (b) cost of terminating existing contracts; 
(3) what weighting will be given to the previous track records in other areas of the civil and public sector of the consortia that are bidding for the support and provision of IT services in his Department; 
(4) what his contingency plan is for the possibility that an outside contractor wins the contract for the support and provision of IT in his Department and then fails during the term of that contract. 
Mr. Ingram: These questions have been answered with respect to the Defence Information Infrastructure (DII) programme. The Ministry of Defence is in negotiations with two potential commercial Delivery
Partners (DP) for the provision of Information Systems services. The DII programme is currently in the Assessment Phase of the Smart Procurement cycle.
In terms of cost, the MOD currently spends over £450 million per annum on its information infrastructure. It is anticipated that the DII Public/Private Partnership contract will cost in the region of £4 billion over 10 years.
Track record is one of a number of factors included in the evaluation of bids. The Department’s Supplier Relations Group has conducted research of bidding consortium members’ performance both in Defence and across Government. In addition, the project has taken up references, by telephone and through visits, from existing