HC Deb 31 March 1993 vol 222 cc317-8W
Mr. Raymond S. Robertson

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a further statement about establishing the Scottish Office superannuation division as an executive agency.

Mr. Lang

As I announced on 20 November 1992 the Scottish Office superannuation division will become an executive agency on 1 April. Its main role is to administer the occupational pension schemes covering the national health service and the teaching service in Scotland, on my behalf, and to advise me on the regulation of these schemes and other superannuation schemes for which I am responsible. The agency will be known as the Scottish Office Pensions Agency (SOPA) and will continue to be part of the Scottish Office Home and Health Department.

For 1993–94, the first year of its operation, I have set the following key targets for the agency:

  1. 1. To complete by August 1993 an exercise to verify the accuracy and completeness of the computer based members' records.
  2. 2. To develop an improved system for measuring customer satisfaction.
  3. 3. To ensure that awards and transfer payments are accurate to within 2 per cent. of their value in 97 per cent. of cases.
  4. 4. To pay on time 99 per cent. of all pensions and lump sums where the target date for receipt of claims is met.
  5. 5. To respond to all enquiries within 3 weeks.
  6. 6. To progress specification, procurement and implementation of new integrated IT systems to completion of tender evaluation stage.
  7. 7. To optimise use of budgetary provision while keeping within direct running costs limits.
  8. 8. To provide policy advice which is consistent with public service pension policy and takes account of operational objectives of Scottish Office departments, within the required timescales.