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Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the Treasury Minute entitled The privatisation of QinetiQ issued in response to the Committee of Public Accounts' Twenty-Fourth Report of session 2007-08, what steps his Department has taken as a result of the findings of the review of QinetiQ's compliance regime undertaken by his Department's internal auditors. (257577)

As a result of the recommendations made by the Defence Internal Audit report, the following action has been taken by the Department:

Inclusion of Defence Equipment and Support senior commercial staff in the approvals process to ensure that risk assessments address interrelationships between projects and cover the totality of MOD's business.

Increased visibility of QinetiQ's oversight and implementation of the compliance regime through Defence Equipment and Support Director General Commercial involvement and inclusion in the QinetiQ Compliance Committee correspondence.

QinetiQ will provide Defence Equipment and Support with formal confirmation of their internal reviews and notify the Department of the findings, to enable a joint approach to managing risk.

Improvements to day to day operation of the firewall procedures including an update to QinetiQ's Compliance Manual to improve the firewall closure process.

Ongoing awareness training for Department commercial staff to ensure early identification of conflicts in the supply chain.

Development of a set of generic principles for dealing with conflicts of interest wherever they occur in the supply chain. These principles draw heavily on the QinetiQ compliance regime which is seen as effective and comprehensive.