HC Deb 10 May 1999 vol 331 cc19-20W
Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the merger of the Military Survey and Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre (JARIC) Defence Agencies. [83904]

Mr. Spellar

The case for merging the Military Survey and JARIC Defence Agencies into a single, converged Agency was considered under the Strategic Defence Review, and built on earlier work.

The final study, which was completed in September 1998, concluded that there were a number of drivers, mainly in the medium to long-term, recommending the merger of Military Survey and JARIC. These would secure improved operational effectiveness and better service to Defence. Early implementation of merger was recommended.

Following full consultation, I have asked the Director General of Intelligence and Geographic Resources to proceed with the implementation of a single Agency to be launched in April 2000. The post of Chief Executive Designate of the new Agency, Colonel Peter Walker OBE, has been filled by internal competition. On promotion to Brigadier he will lead an Implementation Team which will be established shortly before he assumes his Chief Executive role in April 2000.