§ 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.