HC Deb 13 March 1992 vol 205 cc730-2W
Mr. Roger King

To ask the Minister for the Civil Service if he will make a statement on progress in the "next steps" initiative.

Mr. Renton

Progress is good. During April we expect the total of agencies launched to grow to 72. About 290,000 civil servants, half the total, will be working in agencies and other organisations operating on "next steps" lines. In addition, 27 candidates have been announced covering over 65,000 more civil servants. Many other areas are under consideration. As Cm 1760—"Improving Management in Government—the Next Steps Agencies, Review 1991"—shows, "next steps" is delivering benefits for customers, staff and taxpayers.

The list of agencies established or to he established during April 1992 is:
Accounts Services Agency 90
ADAS Agency2 2,500
Building Research Establishment 700
Cadw (Welsh Historic Monuments) 230
Central Office of Information3 670
Central Science Laboratory2 370
Central Statistical Office 1,090
Central Veterinary Laboratory 590
Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment4 600
Civil Service College 230
Companies House3 1,070
Compensation Agency2 5 150
Defence Research Agency 12,150
Directorate General of Defence Accounts4 2,130
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency 4,580
Driver and Vehicle Testing Agency2 5 250
Driving Standards Agency 2,080
Duke of York's Royal Military School2 100
DVOIT2 590
Employment Service 38,400
Fire Service College2 3 160
Forensic Science Service 600

Historic Royal Palaces 330
Historic Scotland 630
HMS03 3,250
Hydrographic Office4 860
Insolvency Service 1,470
Intervention Board 980
Laboratory of the Government Chemist 340
Land Registry 9,800
Medicines Control Agency 300
Meteorological Office 2,390
Military Survey4 1,300
National Engineering Laboratory 390
National Physical Laboratory 830
National Weights and Measures Laboratory 50
Natural Resources Institute 440
Naval Aircraft Repair Organisation2 4 1,510
NHS Estates 120
Occupational Health Service 100
Ordnance Survey 2,380
Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland2 5 210
Patent Office3 1,080
Planning Inspectorate2 630
Public Record Office2 440
Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre 60
Queen Victoria School2 60
Radiocommunications Agency 520
RAF Maintenance4 13,300
Rate Collection Agency5 270
Recruitment and Assessment Services Agency 240
Registers of Scotland 1,280
Royal Mint3 1,020
Scottish Agricultural Science Agency2 140
Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency 210
Service Children's Schools (North West Europe)4 2,300
Social Security Agency5 5,350
Social Security Benefits Agency 63,100
Social Security Contributions Agency 8,000
Social Security Information Technology Services Agency 4,000
Social Security Resettlement Agency 520
Teachers' Pensions Agency2 300
The Buying Agency5 110
Training and Employment Agency 1,670
Transport Research Laboratory2 580
United Kingdom Passport Agency 1,250
Valuation Office 5,200
Vehicle Certification Agency 80
Vehicle Inspectorate3 1,820
Veterinary Medicines Directorate 80
Warren Spring Laboratory 310
Wilton Park Conference Centre 30
72 in number 210,960
Customs and Excise6 (30 executive units) 26,800
Inland Revenue6 (34 executive offices) 62,100
Total7 299,860
Number of civil servants in the above total8 290,490

The list of candidates for agency status announced by Ministers is as follows:

Army Logistics9 12,700
Chessington Computer Centre 440
Child Support Agency5 10 see note
Common Services Division9 1,700
Defence Animal Centre9 150
Defence Operational Analysis Establishment9 180
Defence Postal Courier Service9 600
Defence Statistics Organisation9 150
Directorate Information Technology Bureau Services9 120
Equipment Test and Evaluation9 2,220
Fuel Suppliers Branch 20
Her Majesty's Prison Service 34,900

1 Staff
Human Factors Research9 390
Meat Hygiene Service11 see note
Ministry of Defence Police9 4,550
Naval Training9 5,040
Office of Population Censuses and Surveys 2,150
Pesticide Safety Directorate 150
Property Division 120
Property Holdings Portfolio Management 460
Royal Air Force Training9 11,200
Royal Parks 580
Scottish Office Superannuation 160
Scottish Prison Service 4,100
Social Security Child Support Agency12 see note
Valuation and Lands Office5 350
Youth Treatment Service 220
TOTAL (27 in number)7 82,650
Number of civil servants in the above total8 66,320
1 1 October 1991 figures for civil servants and armed forces personnel. Casuals are excluded. Part-time staff are counted as half units.
2 Expected to be launched in April 1992.
3 Trading fund.
4 Defence Support Agency.
5 Northern Ireland civil service.
6 Departments operating fully on "next steps" lines. Staffing figures for Inland Revenue exclude the Valuation Office, which is a free-standing agency.
7 Figure for total staff in agencies includes 8,070 armed forces personnel in Ministry of Defence agencies and 1,300 locally engaged staff in service children's schools (north-west Europe). Figure for total staff in candidates includes 16,330 armed forces personnel in Ministry of Defence candidates.
8 Includes in the totals 7,900 staff in agencies and 350 staff in candidates in the Northern Ireland civil service.
9 May be launched as a Defence Support Agency.
10 Estimated to require 550 staff by April 1993. Of these 120 will come from the Northern Ireland Social Security Agency.
11 Estimated to require 1,800 staff, drawn from a variety of sources.
12 From early 1993 the agency is estimated to require 4,500 staff, 1,500 of which will come from the Social Security Benefits Agency.

Mr. John Marshall

To ask the Minister for the Civil Service how many chief executives of "next steps" agencies have been recruited following open competition.

Mr. Renton

The Government's objective in appointing agency chief executives is to get the right person for the job. Open competition is now the norm, and about two thirds of chief executives and chief executives-designate —47 out of 74—have been recruited in this way.