§ Patrick Mercer
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the potential losses of expertise due to the division of DERA into QinetiQ and Dstl. 
§ Dr. Moonie
The process of splitting DERA, into Dstl and QinetiQ, was based on the key objective to identify the functional requirements and capabilities needed by each organisation to achieve their future business goals. DERA and the Ministry of Defence experts worked closely together in late 2000 to identify which divisions, teams and individuals were required by which organisation, and the final division aimed to provide each organisation with skills that were both balanced and adequate to achieve sustainability.
The division into future-Dstl and future-QinetiQ operated on a "shadow" basis from January 2001, and QinetiQ plc and Dstl were formally created in July last year. Throughout, both organisations have continued to successfully meet the needs of their customers. We are confident that the PPP process, which is still ongoing, will strengthen links between military and civil technology and improve the transfer of bright ideas from the private sector and academia. This will strongly benefit the defence science base.
Both organisations are vibrant and attractive places to work, and continue to attract and retain high calibre staff in the face of growing competition from the civil sector.