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Volume 78: debated on Wednesday 1 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether, pursuant to his reply of 15 April, Official Report, column 66, to the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North, he will list the individual clerical errors which resulted in £188,372 being returned to service pensioners as arrears of pensions previously underpaid, indicating in each case the nature of the clerical error.

Further checking has shown the estimate of £188,372 to be overstated. It should be revised to £187,091. The individual errors that gave rise to this total of arrears being returned to service pensioners are:

Category of errorNumber of errors in the categoryArrears returned £
(a) Simple arithmetical error5937,853
(b) Oversight of further action3230,135
(c) Incorrect input to computer2521,573
(d) Incorrect interpretation of regulations1886,191
(e) Incorrect information passed to Paymaster General's Office1311,339

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether, following the letter of the head of Man. S (Org) of his Department to Mr. T. G. Robson. Secretary of his Departments Council of Civil Service Unions of 2 April on the Rayner review of pensions, he will list what steps have been taken to check the state of affairs and put the matter right, where necessary, following the errors which have arisen in the course of the transfer of the original documentation on Royal Navy/Royal Marine pensions to the Paymaster-General's office.

A check of every RN ratings and RM other ranks pension will be carried out and the necessary corrections made.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will list all pensionable allowances in all three services apart from basic pay.

There are no allowances received by service men that are relevant to the calculation of a service pension.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what rank categories were included in the transcription from manual records to computers of the three services for the purpose of the computerisation of service pension records.

In the computerisation of pension payment records the ranks affected were those of warrant officer class I and equivalent and below.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence on what date the computer storing Royal Air Force airmen's pension records closed down; what was the reason for the closure; and why manually recorded records are now being used to calculate airmen's pensions and to answer inquiries.

Royal Air Force airmen's pensions are maintained on either the Paymaster General's computer system at Crawley or the Director General of Defence Accounts computer system at Bath, neither of which has been closed down.Royal Air Force airmen's pensions are awarded by the Director General of Defence Accounts staff at Worcester. The calculation of these pensions has always been undertaken manually on the basis of information provided from Royal Air Force pay and personnel records. Manually recorded records have always been referred to by the accounts staff at Worcester prior to answering inquiries.

Below Higher Executive and equivalent136273784
Higher Executive Officer and equivalent1417324467
Senior Executive Officer and equivalent1124335374
Principal and equivalent2128194489
Senior Principal and equivalent6792332
Assistant Secretary and equivalent5781322
Under Secretary46778
Deputy Secretary2234
Second Permanent/Permanent Secretary11
Lists of the areas within the Ministry of Defence in which the individuals concerned were employed are not readily available.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he has taken to establish the companies subsequently employing civil servants who have resigned from his Department in each of the years from 1980 to 1984; and if he will list each of the subsequent employers concerned.

Civil servants resigning from the Ministry of Defence to take up alternative employment are required to notify details of their prospective employer(s) where the company concerned is in a contractual or other special relationship with the Department. Certain more senior grades, of the rank of under secretary and above, are required to notify any intended employment. No comprehensive list of companies or bodies employing former civil servants is available.