§ Mr. Allan Stewart
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the candidature of the Department of the Registers of Scotland for agency status.
§ Mr. Rifkind
I have concluded that the Department would benefit from establishment as an agency and hope that this may be achieved on 1 April 1990. It will be the first such agency from within my areas of responsibility.
The agency will be headed by the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland who, as chief executive, will enjoy extensive managerial freedom to organise the work of the agency so as to provide the best possible service to the public within a policy and resources framework which I shall set. The Keeper will be responsible to me for meeting specific objectives and challenging targets but will be free to determine how those are to be achieved. The staff of the agency will remain within the Civil Service.