HC Deb 23 March 1995 vol 257 cc306-7W
Mr. Devlin

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will provide details of the launch of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland as a next steps executive agency. [16202]

Mr. Moss

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland will be formally established as an executive agency on 1 April 1995.

The key performance targets set for the agency for 1995–96 are:

  1. 1. to (a) process 1,100 linear feet of privately deposited records and ensure that 100 per cent. of all new such "open" material is processed within one year of receipt; and (b) reappraise approximately 10,000 linear feet of records with a view to eliminating low-grade material;
  2. 2. to reduce the unit cost of £16.62 per reader visit by 6 per cent. to £15.79 without diminishing the quality of service;
  3. 3. to process written enquiries from customers within 10 working days of receipt in 70 per cent. of cases and within 14 working days in 95 per cent. of cases; and
  4. 4. to manage the agency's work load—including an anticipated 3 per cent. increase in readers and the introduction of extended opening hours—while ensuring that expenditure is within financial limits approved by the Department.