§ Mr. Cousins
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what visits on official business staff of the defence accounts agency have undertaken in the last 12 months; what was the date and purpose of the visits in each case; how many members of staff the agency has working in non-United Kingdom locations for periods in excess of three months; and in which countries they are located. 
§ Mr. Arbuthnot
This is a matter for the chief executive of the Defence Pay and Personnel Agency. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.
Letter from M. A. Rowe to Mr. Jim Cousins, dated 3 April 1996:I am replying to your question to the Secretary of State for Defence about visits on official business and overseas working as the matters referred to fall within my responsibilities as Chief Executive of the Pay & Personnel Agency.The Pay & Personnel Agency, in common with its predecessor the Defence Accounts Agency, does not maintain records in the detail you ask, and to assemble the necessary statistics would entail the expenditure of disproportionate time and cost. It is, however, Agency practice that all such visits are properly scrutinised before they take place and are only undertaken when alternative arrangements are not practical.The Pay & Personnel Agency employs six people in a non-United Kingdom location. These are civilian staff locally employed in Malta, administering the pension entitlements of Maltese nationals who were at one time employed by the United Kingdom Government.