HL Deb 31 March 1993 vol 544 cc55-6WA
Lord Gainford

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans they have to establish the Army static workshop organisation as a defence agency.

Viscount Cranborne

The Army static workshops in Great Britain are to be established as a defence agency of the Ministry of Defence on 1st April 1993, under the new title of the Army Base Repair Organisation (ABRO). The Army Base Repair Organisation comprises its headquarters at Andover, a contract repair branch and a network of base and district workshops. Together they employ some 3,581 civilian and 219 military staff. The role of the Army Base Repair Organisation ranges from minor repair to full refurbishment of equipment for the Army. The Chief Executive has to ensure that the service is available in peacetime and that it has the capacity to cope immediately with increased workloads in times of crisis and war. Strategically placed workshops will provide a 24 hour, 365 days a year recovery service in direct support of army units together with a repair facility to effect repairs beyond the capability of local units. Four workshops will provide an in-depth refurbishment and modification service, which is essential to the operational readiness of Army equipment. In addition, a separate division of the agency will provide a complementary service by contracting with industry for repair and refurbishment of equipments.

As the first chief executive, Brigadier J. R. Drew, will be offered new opportunities to build on the current organisation's professional expertise and high performance standards. Through a more commercial approach, the chief executive will actively seek to improve the efficiency and value for money of his organisation.

The chief executive has been set the following targets for 1993–94.

  1. 1. To complete the repair programme to plan.
  2. 2. By 1st April 1994, to conduct a customer survey of quality and to institute a system for measuring the timeliness of the agency's output and to set improving targets for both.
  3. 3. To complete the market test of 18 Base Workshop by 1st April 1994.
  4. 4. To reduce by 5 per cent. the ratio of labour costs to hours of production by 1st April 1994.
  5. 5. By 1st October 1993, establish the value and the proportion of risk price contracts placed by the agency, and by 1st April 1994 set targets for increases in 1994–95.
  6. 6. To operate a full cost, accruals accounting system by 1st April 1994.

I have arranged for copies of the agency's framework document to be placed in the House Library.