HL Deb 21 November 1996 vol 575 c147WA
Lord Walton of Detchant

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why they have included the Public Health Laboratory Service in their Prior Options Review in view of the fact that it was the subject of a thorough and detailed review less than 18 months ago, which led to a major reorganisation and rationalisation and improved financial efficiency.

The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Fraser of Carmyllie)

The Government's response to the efficiency scrutiny on public sector research establishments (Cm 2991), published in September 1995, announced that the Prior Options reviews process would be adapted and extended to include all public sector research establishments. These reviews will help the Government achieve the greatest possible benefit from the substantial resources devoted to these establishments. Each review addresses the actual and potential relationship of the establishment in question to any others in similar or related fields, highlighting the scope for more effective co-ordination and co-operation. Although the Public Health Laboratory Service was subject to a specific strategic review in 1994, the Prior Options review will build on that review and not duplicate it. The tranche of reviews which includes the Public Health Laboratory Service is due to report to Ministers at the end of this year.