§ Joan Ruddock
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many appointments to public bodies were made by his Department in(a) 1997–98 and (b) 1998–99, broken down by (i) gender and (ii) ethnicity; and if he will list the chairmen appointed to those bodies in those years, similarly broken down. 
§ Mr. Spellar
The following number of appointments and reappointments were made to Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) for which my department is responsible:
- (a) 1 June 1997 to 31 May 1998: 37; (i) 32 male, five female; (ii) 37 white. This includes the following appointments of Chairmen: His Honour Judge Rogers (Advisory Committee on Conscientious Objectors), Mr. John Bridgeman (National Employers' Liaison Committee) and Mr. G. Richards (Oil and Pipelines Agency).
- (b) 1 June 1998 to 31 May 1999: 31; (i) 24 male, seven female; (ii) 31 white. This includes the following appointments of Chairmen: Sir John Cadogan (Defence Nuclear Safety Committee), Sir Michael Beetham (RAF Museum), Sir Barry Wilson (Royal Naval Museum) and Baroness Dean (Armed Forces Pay Review Body).
These figures include new appointments as well as reappointments.
Appointments to the technical Boards under the Defence Scientific Advisory Council are not included (they have previously been included in answers to similar questions). The Cabinet Office has recently agreed that, as these Boards are sub-Committees of the Council, they should not be classified as advisory NDPBs. Appointments to the Council itself are included.
Within the overriding principle of selection based on merit, MOD is committed to increasing diversity in appointments to its NDPBs and raising the representation of women, people from ethnic minority groups and disabled people in line with government-wide objectives. To this end, MOD publishes an annual Plan for Public Appointments and Equal Opportunities (the plan for 1999–2002 was published in "Quangos: Opening up Public Appointments") which sets objectives and targets.