HC Deb 13 February 2004 vol 418 c10W
Mr. Soames

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of his Department's Equipment Programme. [153032]

Mr. Ingram

Information on a range of major equipment projects, which together form the substantial part of the Ministry of Defence's forward equipment programme, is routinely made available, for example in support of the PAC's annual Major Projects Report and the HCDC's annual inquiry into defence procurement. This detail is set in broader context by the publication every two years of the MOD's overarching Defence Investment Strategy.

In addition, the principal output of the MOD's annual equipment planning round is a set of detailed planning assumptions and financial data about the proposed content and timing of the future equipment programme. This forms part of the internal advice to Ministers on the overall affordability of the defence programme and of individual projects at the time they come forward for approval. It therefore anticipates decisions still to be taken by Ministers. In parts it also contains information which is commercially sensitive. I am therefore withholding the information in accordance with Exemptions 2 and 13 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.