§ Mr. Gibb
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his answer of 13 March 1998,Official Report, column 427, what alterations to the regulations for submission of complaints by ex-service personnel were introduced in October 1997; under what statute; and for what reasons. 
§ Dr. Reid
[holding answer 2 April 1998]: The Armed Forces Act 1996 amended the Services Discipline Acts (the Naval Discipline Act 1957, the Army Act 1955 and the Air Force Act 1955) to provide a statutory right, for the first time, for ex-Service personnel to submit a complaint to the Defence Council. At the same time, provision was made for a time limit of not less than three months to be prescribed in Queen's Regulations for the submission of complaints from both serving and ex-Service personnel. Prior to this, there was no statutory provision for ex-Service personnel to submit complaints although complaints were accepted for investigation on a discretionary basis. This change was made to ensure that ex-Service personnel were afforded the same rights as serving personnel. Queen's Regulations now provide for54W
provided in tabular format. Accordingly, the answers to your questions can be found at Annex A to this letter.
By way of amplification, I should just explain that the staff numbers quoted are in fact average figures for the whole financial year 1996/97. The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office is situated at Taunton, Somerset and as you will see. 98.1% of UKHO staff are based there. There are, however, a number of staff—16 in total—housed in Chart Maintenance Units (CMUs). These CMUs are located in major Royal Navy bases throughout the UK. In terms of Scotland there are 4 UKHO staff based in the CMU at Faslane; these are the only UKHO staff located in Scotland as I hope reference to Annex A will explain.
I hope this reply has been of assistance. Please do not hesitate to get in touch should you need any further amplification.
a time limit for the submission of complaints of three months from the date of the action complained of. These new provisions came into effect on 1 October 1997.