HC Deb 28 March 1996 vol 274 c693W
Mr. Dicks

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about defence agency status for the pricing and quality services organisation. [238121

Mr. Arbuthnot

I have decided that the pricing and quality services organisation should be considered as a candidate for defence agency status under the status steps initiative. The agency review process provides an opportunity to align more closely the provision of essential services to customer needs. Once complete, it will establish a framework that allows a much sharper focus on the need for those services, together with pressure to improve performance through the development of clear and rigorous targets.

Currently, there are four discrete business units within PQS:

  1. (a) Support to Contract Pricing;
  2. (b) Quality Assurance;
  3. (c) Defence Cost Forecasting; and
  4. (d) The Equipment Accounting Centre.

The directorate has approximately 935 staff located in 41 offices throughout the UK. The headquarters are currently located in central London and scheduled to transfer to Abbey Wood, Bristol, later this year.

A "prior options" study is being undertaken to establish whether agency status or other options would be appropriate. I would welcome comments from interested parties. Such comments should be sent to:

  • J. R. Brown
  • Ministry of Defence
  • Room 229
  • St. Georges Court
  • 14 New Oxford Street
  • London WC I A 1EJ