§ Mrs. Ann Winterton
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received from the National Office of Animal Health about alternative ways of meeting the costs of the veterinary medicines directorate.
§ Mr. Soames
I regularly receive representations from the National Office of Animal Health about alternative244W ways of meeting the licensing costs of the veterinary medicines directorate. The latest have been in response to a consultation letter on options for 1993–94 fee levels issued in December 1992. As with previous representations these are being given full and careful consideration. I hope to announce my decision shortly.
§ Mr. Gummer
The chief executive of the veterinary medicines directorate (VMD) has submitted his proposals to me and I have agreed that the VMD should be set the following performance targets for 1993–94—full cost recovery for the three business activities of licensing, policy work and residues monitoring;—70 per cent. of new licence applications to be issued within 120 clock days; 95 per cent. within 200 days;—an overall efficiency gain of 2 per cent.
These are challenging targets, given the increased volumes being forecast for the VMD's business. They will build on the improvements already made in the efficiency and quality of service provided by the directorate since its establishment as a next steps agency, and for which I commend the chief executive and his staff. In addition, I have agreed the VMD's corporate plan for 1993–94–1995–96, and copies are being placed in the Library of the House and the Public Information Office.