HC Deb 10 November 1992 vol 213 cc733-4W
Mr. Milligan

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority has responded to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission's report on the service provided by the AEA; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Eggar

I have today placed in the Library of the House the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority's initial response to the report by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission (MMC) which was published in May 1992.

I am grateful to the commission for the comprehensive review they carried out. The commission recognised that the AEA is an organisation undergoing fundamental change, that it could continue to make efficiency and quality improvements and could generate higher net revenue. The Commission made 58 recommendations for improving the AEA's performance. It was none the less impressed by the expertise, enthusiasm and dedication of the AEA's staff and recognised the substantial progress they have already made with a radical change in culture. I endorse the commission's recognition of the progress made so far.

I also welcome the AEA's positive response to the commission's report. The AEA has accepted all but one of the commission's recommendations. It has accepted much of the spirit of the remaining recommendation (51) on inter-business charging, and will review the position after a year. The AEA's response clearly demonstrates its determination to achieve further improvements in its management practices and I am pleased that many of the commission's recommendations have already been implemented.

The commission made a number of recommendations to the Government. In response to recommendation 2, we will consider with the AEA the setting of efficiency and quality of service performance targets for the AEA. We will take recommendations 3, board bonus scheme, 9, return on capital employed target, and 33, restructuring, into account at the appropriate time.

We will continue to monitor the AEA's progress in implementing the recommendations and I will report progress to the House in due course.