I have recently received answers to a number of Written Parliamentary Questions. They were as follows:
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Answer of 3 April 2017 to Question 69592, on Reserve Forces: Pay, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the changes to internal tax code procedures for Reservist personnel.
Tobias Ellwood: The Ministry of Defence considers that the current arrangements are an improvement over those previously in place. However, accurate collection of income tax from our deployed Reservists requires their civilian employers to follow the guidance issued online at: https://www.gov.uk/employee-reservist.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence of 5 March 2018, Official Report, column 12, when his Department plans to write to the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney on its definition of a core activity and an additional facility.
Tobias Ellwood: I wrote to the hon. Member on 19 March.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 16 March 2018 to Question 131619, on armoured fighting vehicles, which eight organisations returned questionnaires.
Guto Bebb: The eight organisations that returned questionnaires for the Mechanised Infantry Vehicle requirement are: ARTEC, BAES, FNSS, General Dynamics, Nexter, Patria, ST Engineering, and Thales.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many expressions of interest his Department has received on the supply of the future Mechanised Infantry Vehicle.
Guto Bebb: The Ministry of Defence has not received any Expressions of Interest. In 2016, it did conduct market analysis of the supply base for 8 x 8 Mechanised Infantry Vehicles via Defence Contracts On-Line; eight organisations returned questionnaires.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that equipment purchased via the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation or single source procurement provides value for money.
Guto Bebb: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) approach to acquisition is to carefully assess the choices available to achieve best value for money while meeting the needs of the UK Armed Forces. This is sometimes achieved through competition, sometimes through single source arrangements, and sometimes through collaboration, which itself may involve elements of competition.
International organisations such as the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) will establish value for money in a similar way to the UK MOD. This can include establishing prices via competitions. They will also have similar provisions in place to those under the UK’s Single Source Contract Regulations (SSCR), which includes detailed visibility of the breakdown of costs.
The MOD seeks to ensure value for money in single source procurement through the provisions of the Defence Reform Act 2014 and the associated SSCR. Parliament enacted this legislation specifically to address some of the difficulties the MOD had previously faced in assuring value for money when undertaking single source procurement. This approach has already significantly strengthened the MOD’s ability to secure value for money through single source procurement.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent progress has been made on establishing the Strike Experimentation Group.
Mark Lancaster: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 6 December 2017 to Question 117878 to the hon. Member for Llanelli (Nia Griffith).
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the participation rates in the Continuous Attitude Surveys were for (a) the armed forces, (b) families and (c) the reserves in each of the last five years.
Tobias Ellwood: The Armed Forces constantly strive to sustain and improve the response rates for the three Continuous Attitude Surveys (CAS). We do this in various ways, including by reducing the burden on respondents by ensuring that the number of questions is minimised and that they are written in a straightforward way. We also ensure that the surveys reach their intended audience by tracking their distribution and using nominated points of contact at unit level to assist with the distribution of surveys and with communications. Units are given their individual response rates so they can gauge where they rank against other units and the chain of command is held responsible for maximising response rates. Response rates compare favourably with other large public sector organisations.
The requested information is provided below:
|Response Rates for the Continuous Attitude Surveys since 2013|
|Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey (AFCAS)||48%||48%||44%||45%||45%|
|Tri-Service Families Continuous Attitude Survey (FamCAS)||17%||25%||25%||28%||25%|
|Tri-Service Reserves Continuous Attitude Survey (ResCAS)||*||13%1||31%||34%||33%|
|Source: Defence Statistics (Surveys)|
- Prior to ResCAS 2014 the Navy, Army and RAF ran separate, independent surveys among their Reservists. In 2014 the individual Reserve surveys included a set of harmonised Tri-Service questions and by ResCAS 2015 the individual Reserve surveys also included a harmonised methodology and target population. Due to the changes in the survey methodology and target population in 2015, the results and response rates between ResCAS 2014 and later ResCAS surveys are not comparable.
Tobias Ellwood – Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Defence People and Veterans
Guto Bebb – Minister for Defence Procurement
Mark Lancaster – Minister of State for the Armed Forces