The previous Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend Dr Fox, announced the publication of the new tri-service armed forces covenant on
The new Armed Forces Act 2011 creates the requirement for an annual armed forces covenant report to Parliament. It specifies that the armed forces covenant report must cover the areas of health care, education, housing and inquests, as well as any other topics which the Secretary of State for Defence thinks appropriate. When considering what will be covered, the Secretary of State for Defence will have regard to the full range of topics which were identified as within the scope of the armed forces covenant when it was published.
The statutory requirement for an annual armed forces covenant report comes into effect from 2012. However we plan to publish an interim report this year, which will provide a useful baseline for the statutory reports that will follow.