HC Deb 21 April 1998 vol 310 c558W
Ann Clwyd

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what offset targets are included in the Omani-British Offset Programme. [39250]

Mr. Spellar

A Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, was signed in 1990 between the Government of Oman and HMG on co-operation in the field of defence equipment and related services. Under the MOU, both parties agreed to work to encourage and identify viable opportunities for Offset for designated defence contracts. Offset in this context covers any form of new industrial or economic activity introduced for the benefit of Oman through the direct or indirect involvement of designated UK contractors.

A Joint Oman/Uk Offset Steering Group, JOSG, oversees the programme. It has identified 'priority areas' for investment, procedures, and pro-active roles to be taken by both the British and Omani Offset Secretariats. All proposed projects are considered by the JOSG and, if agreed, registered under the Offset Programme. Specific details of the projects registered are confidential between the Governments of the UK and Oman under Exemptions 1 and 13 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.