§ Mr. Riddick
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the launch of the Accounts Services Agency.
§ Mr. Lilley
The Accounts Services Agency was launched as the 10th executive agency in the DTI on 1 October. The Accounts Services Agency is the DTI's first central service supplier to become an executive agency. Agency status will assist Accounts Services Agency further to improve the quality and efficiency of its services.
I have set Accounts Services Agency the following performance targets for the 1991–1992 financial year:
- to break even in full economic cost terms;
- to make 97 per cent. of payments (including travel and subsistence claims) within three working days of receipt by Accounts Services Agency;
- to ensure that all cheques are banked within 36 hours of receipt by the Accounts Services Agency;
- at each month-end to ensure that all transactions notified to the Agency are properly recorded on the database of the Departmental Financial Management Information System ("FINMIS") by the start of the fifth working day of the following month. Operating statements to be produced and distributed by the sixth working day.
I have also set Accounts Services Agency a target of 2.3 per cent. improvement in efficiency measured in terms of cost per transaction for 1991–1992.