HL Deb 20 April 2004 vol 660 cc8-9WS
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach)

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Ivor Caplin) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

As part of a wider modernisation of service personnel administration policies and procedures and the introduction of the IT to support their delivery known as the joint personnel administration (JPA) programme, and following an investment appraisal and consultation with trade unions, the decision has been taken to concentrate the delivery of JPA from three sites: Innsworth, Gosport and Glasgow.

This will incorporate the creation, from March 2005, of a Joint Medal Office at Innsworth—the current location of the RAF Medal Office—and will involve the phased closure of the Army Medal Office at Droitwich and the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Medal Offices located at Gosport. In order to provide continuity of service and to build up the necessary expertise at Innsworth, the transfer of responsibilities will he phased.

Consultation with MoD trade unions about the choice of the three sites from which JPA will be delivered has been undertaken and detailed local consultation about the implications for staff will start shortly. It is expected that some of the current staff will transfer to Innsworth with the work. It is anticipated that staff at Gosport and Innsworth who are unable to transfer to the JMO will be found other positions in the locality, but I cannot rule out a programme of early retirement and redundancy that may be required in particular at Droitwich.