§ Dr. Cable
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the names of staff who have been seconded694W to his Department from the private sector since May 1997, indicating (a) the names of the organisation from which each has come, (b) their responsibilities and civil service grades within his Department, (c) the organisation responsible for paying their salary and (d) the start and end dates of their secondment. 
§ Dr. Moonie
[holding answer 12 February 2002]: Secondments and attachments form a valuable part of interchange, through which the civil service and other organisations exchange people and good practice to mutual benefit.
The Ministry of Defence has a significant programme of interchange, involving all parts of the economy. Since May 1997, 57 staff has been seconded to the MOD from private sector companies; of these 15 were in place prior to May 1997 and continued beyond that date. Three of the secondees were at Senior Civil Service level, though the majority was brought in at middle management level (civil service grades HEO to Grade 6). The MOD reimbursed the parent company for 46 of the 57 secondments.
It is our practice to respect the privacy of our personnel, including those on secondment, and to withhold the names of individuals except where the seniority of the individual or the nature of the post warrants a formal announcement. I am therefore withholding that information under Exemption 12 (Privacy of an Individual) of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.
I will however write to the hon. Member with the other details of these secondments as requested, and a copy will be placed in the Library of the House.