HC Deb 15 March 1995 vol 256 c569W
Mr. Flynn

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what changes have taken place in the numbers of staff employed in the Patent Office since last year in(a) established staff, (b) fixed-term appointees, (c) agency staff and (d) consultants; and if he will explain the reasons for the changes.

Mr. Ian Taylor

On 28 February 1994, there were 902 established staff in the Patent Office; 59 fixed-term appointees; 31 Manpower agency staff; and 27 non-established IT specialists, working in the office on individual contracts. Comparable figures at 28 February 1995 were 839; 49; 45; and 31.

The decline in overall numbers, including numbers of established staff and fixed-term appointees, reflects efficiency improvements and changes in work volumes, and was accommodated as part of normal staff turnover. At the same time, use of IT in the office has grown, and a major systems development has been necessary to implement new trade marks legislation. The increase in the number of agency staff reflects the outcome of a market testing programme in the previous year.