HC Deb 10 December 1996 vol 287 cc161-3W
Mr. Hendry

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on defence agency status for the naval bases and supply organisation. [8702]

Mr. Soames

The directorate general naval bases and supply was formed within the naval support command in October 1995, bringing together management of the three naval bases with the navy's supply depots and the Director Marine Services (Navy).

The organisation is responsible in war, crisis and peace for:

  • providing ships and submarines with engineering and support services during fleet time;
  • the worldwide supply, storage and maintenance of armament, engineering and general stores, weapons and equipments;
  • the supply of food and fuel;
  • accommodation and Naval Personnel support in the naval bases,
thus contributing to the operational capability of the armed forces, together with other areas of the naval support command to ensure the overall material availability, capability and readiness of the Royal Navy and its weapon systems.

A wide ranging internal review since its formation has concluded that it would provide a better service to its customers as a Defence agency. It is therefore being launched on Wednesday 11 December as the Naval Bases and Supply Agency. NBSA will remain part of the MOD but the chief executive will have the necessary delegated powers to discharge his responsibilities.

Whilst the agency's main customer is the Commander-in-Chief Fleet, NBSA, as the provider of engineering and supply support, will work closely with the newly formed Ships Support Agency.

NBSA will be, in terms of staff, the largest Defence agency to launch, with some 13,350 staff, of which some 10,200 are civilian and 3,150 service. It will also be one of the more widespread, with sites from Devonport to the north of Scotland, including the three naval bases at Devonport, Portmouth and the Clyde, and a headquarters at Ensleigh, Bath.

NBSA has developed demanding targets and performance indicators in conjunction with its owner and customers. These are largely based on satisfying customer requirements, but also include measures to monitor and improve the quality, timeliness and efficiency of the agency's outputs. The key targets which have been agreed for the period up to March 1997 are:

  1. (1) To complete 90 per cent. of vessel assisted maintenance periods to time, budget and standard by March 1997.
  2. (2) To supply 90 per cent. of available material to rectify vessel operational defects within required delivery dates.
  3. (3) To establish the NBSA cost per materially available vessel day by March 1997.
  4. (4) To complete integration of the naval base management structures by April 1997, and to continue devolvement of tasks from HQ.
  5. (5) To complete implementation of the DCS 10 infrastructure measures by March 1997.
  6. (6) To implement the recommendations of the non-explosive warehousing review by March 1998—progress report in March 1997.
  7. (7) To implement resource accounting and budgeting, including the provision of an executive information system to meet business requirements, by March 2000—progress report in March 1997.
  8. (8) To establish the agency account by March 1998—progress report in March 1997.
  9. (9) To achieve year-on-year efficiency improvements of 1.1 per cent. by March 1997.
  10. (10) To achieve full accreditation of Investors in People by phased implementation.

All of these targets will encourage continuous improvements in NBSA services or efficiency.

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