To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the specialist qualifications of Dr. Pocock in (a) air transport, (b) the operation of aircraft or (c) otherwise to conduct the study commissioned by his Department into RAF communications flying from RAF Northolt.
Dr. Pocock is a senior official with long experience of the Ministry of Defence. It is not expected that a scrutineer will have specialist qualifications in the area of his study: his job is to bring a fresh and independent perspective for Ministers and management to consider. He can of course draw on specialist advice as necessary.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the terms of reference of Dr. Pocock's study for his Department into RAF communications flying from RAF Northolt; and when and to whom he will report his conclusions.
The study is part of the Government's programme of efficiency scrutinies under the supervision of the Cabinet Office efficiency unit. Its aim is to establish the scope for greater effectiveness and efficiency in RAF communications flying which involves a number of RAF stations. The study requires examinations of existing patterns of demand, procedures and costs; the identification of trends; and the consideration of new arrangements. The recommendations go to Ministers and the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Defence, as well as to the Government's efficiency adviser. The report was completed on 13 July 1993 and its conclusions are now being assessed.