[holding answer 19 October 2006]: The Ministry of Defence provides support to defence exports through the Defence Export Services Organisation (DESO). In April 2006 there were some 450 staff in post in DESO. Of those 12 were employed on fixed-term contracts, five of whom were part-time.
In general, the financial and commercial aspects of defence exports are matters for the company supplying the export. But a proportion of DESO staff work in project offices dealing with exports made under Government-to-Government contracts, and the duties of 29 of these staff are mainly concerned with financial and commercial aspects of the projects. None of these is on a fixed-term contract.
A breakdown showing the numbers of staff in DESO was included in the answers given to the hon. Member for North Devon (Nick Harvey) on 26 October 2005, Official Report, column 376W.