HC Deb 22 June 1990 vol 174 c751W
Mr. Burns

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he has identified any candidates within his Department for agency status under the "next steps" initiative.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

Following a detailed feasibility study, I have identified my Department's estates directorate as a candidate for possible executive agency status.

Agency status could enable the directorate to operate with greater freedom and clearer responsibility within an agreed framework of objectives, performance targets and resources, and to respond more readily to the needs of the Department, the NHS management executive and the NHS.

The agency proposal and other options, including extending the scope of contracting out, will be considered further. Detailed discussions, which will include the preparation of a draft agency framework document have been set in hand. I will be considering other candidates for agency status in due course.