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National Recognition of our Armed Forces Inquiry

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when (a) officials, (b) Ministers and (c) members of the inquiry team of the National Recognition of our Armed Forces study met the British Association of Chambers of Commerce to discuss links between service units and commanders and associations of chambers of commerce in the last 12 months. (207231)

The independent Inquiry into National Recognition of our Armed Forces invited a number of contributions from a broad spectrum across the military, Parliament and other relevant areas of society including business leaders. I understand that the study team did not consult directly with the British Association of Chambers of Commerce but did meet with representatives from the Confederation of British Industry. A complete list of those who contributed is at Appendix 2 to the report, a copy of which can be found on the MOD website:

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/CorporatePublications/PersonnelPublications/DutyofCare/NationalRecognitionOfOurArmedForces.htm.

Defence Ministers and officials may, over the past 12 months, have had discussions with the British Association of Chambers of Commerce on links with the armed forces, but any such discussions would have been in the normal course of business and not specifically related to the national recognition study.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what his policy is on the principle of selective briefings to journalists suggested at Recommendation 32 in the Report of the Inquiry into National Recognition of our Armed Forces; (207235)

(2) what discussions (a) his Department and (b) the Inquiry into National Recognition of our Armed Forces (i) has had and (ii) plans to have with HM Treasury on the change of Treasury rules necessary to carry out recommendation 15 of the Report of Inquiry into National Recognition of our Armed Forces in respect of charging for the use of military assets;

(3) what estimate he has made of the cost of implementing each of the recommendations of the Report on National Recognition of our Armed Forces;

(4) what estimate he has made of the number of military and naval man-days necessary to implement each recommendation in the Report on National Recognition of our Armed Forces;

(5) what estimate he has made of (a) the number of man-days and (b) the notional salary costs required to implement the 3+2+1 principle cited in the report on National Recognition of the Armed Forces.

As I stated in my written ministerial statement on 19 May 2008, Official Report, columns 3-4WS, many of the Recommendations contained in the Independent Report will require detailed consideration across Government Departments and, where necessary, engagement with other organisations for those that are beyond the sole responsibility of Government. This work will take into account any resource issues and any amendments to existing regulations. We will be responding fully to all the Recommendations as soon as possible.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what egregious cases of media representation informed Recommendation 33G of the Report of the Inquiry into National Recognition of our Armed Forces; and what official action was taken in each case. (207236)

I understand that Recommendation 33 of the Independent Report into National Recognition of our Armed Forces was not informed by any specific egregious cases and, instead, is recommending a course of action to deal with such cases. The Government will consider the Recommendation and respond as soon as possible, as part of its overall response to the Report.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) local and (b) regional journalists were consulted in preparing the recommendations relating to improving media coverage contained in the Report of Inquiry into National Recognition of our Armed Forces. (207264)

I understand that the independent team set up to conduct the Inquiry into National Recognition of our Armed Forces consulted a number of media personnel as set out in Appendix 2 of the Report, a copy of which can be found on the MOD website:

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/CorporatePublications/PersonnelPublications/DutyofCare/NationalRecognitionOfOurArmedForces.htm

In addition, the team consulted with the MOD’s Media and Communications organisation and the armed forces’ regional staff on a range of issues including their local engagement with the media.