§ Mr. Edwards
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what progress has been made in the procurement of a replacement radio system for the fire service; when he expects that the contract will be awarded; and when he expects the new system to be operational. 
§ Mr. Raynsford
Following evaluation of the responses received to the Invitation to Submit Proposals for a radio system for the Fire and Rescue Services, negotiation has begun with those suppliers who were short listed. It is planned to award the Firelink contract in July 2004 with roll-out due to be completed by the end of December 2007.