HC Deb 22 June 1995 vol 262 cc376-7W
Mr. Jim Marshall

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about defence agency status for the Defence Codification Authority. [30865]

Mr. Soames

The Defence Codification Authority is part of RAF Logistics Command, and is responsible for the information and direction of MOD codification policy, and the sponsorship and control of codification quality assurance services. It has been decided that the authority is to be considered for defence agency status under the next steps procedures. An entry to this effect will appear in the July 1995 edition of the "Market Testing Bulletin."

Mr. Marshall

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what key performance targets have been set for the chief executive of the Meteorological Office executive agency for the financial year 1995–96. [30866]

Mr. Soames

The agency has been set a range of quality, financial and efficiency targets to ensure that it delivers progressive improvements in the provision of weather-related services. In addition, the agency is to achieve trading fund status on 1 April 1996.

The key quality targets set for the Meteorological Office during the financial year 1995–96 are to achieve 80 per cent. of the designated business plan external targets for customer satisfaction, forecast accuracy and timeliness; and to attain an average accuracy over the United Kingdom of at least 84 per cent. for the 24-hour national weather forecasts broadcast at 17.55 hours by BBC Radio 4.

The financial targets are to deliver the agreed Meteorological Office programme within a business plan cash limit of £78,300,000; to reduce net expenditure, as shown in the annual report and accounts, to £90,300,000, representing a decrease of 2.6 per cent. on the 1994–95 budget, both at 1994–95 prices; and to provide a net contribution to the agency's core costs and general overheads of £3,800,000 from commercial services to the public, industry and commerce excluding the Civil Aviation Authority and the Department of the Environment.

Individual areas of the Meteorological Office have been set targets to increase efficiency by between 1 and 3 per cent. mainly through improvements in quality and volume of services and reduced unit output costs.

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