§ Mr. Rapson
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about Defence Agency status for the Army's Recruiting Organisation. 
§ Dr. Reid
On 1 July the Army's recruiting function will be amalgamated with the Army Individual Training Organisation (AITO) which is an existing Defence Agency. As a result of its expanded responsibilities the AITO will be retitled the Army Training and Recruiting Agency (ATRA). The ATRA's Chief Executive, a Major General, will be known as the Director General Army Training and Recruiting (DGATR). The ATRA's headquarters will continue to be based at Upavon, Wiltshire; alongside the Headquarters of the Adjutant General who will continue as the Agency's owner. The Agency will assume responsibility for an additional 598 military and 337 civilian staff employed at various recruiting units, including the Armed Forces Careers Offices and Army Careers Information Offices throughout the country. Altogether the ATRA will employ 11,153 personnel at 178 locations.
The integration of the recruiting and individual training functions into a single Defence Agency will further improve efficiency and effectiveness in the provision of trained manpower to the Army. The ATRA's mission will be "to recruit and train young people to become the best soldiers in the world". The Chief Executive has been set the following Key Targets for the first year of operation:
- 1. To meet the Adjutant General's requirement for Commissioned Officers. 1
- 2. To meet the Adjutant General's requirement for officers qualified for service in a Field Force Unit following successful Special-to-Arm training. 1
- 3. To meet the Adjutant General's requirement for officers' professional development training. 1
- 4. To meet the Adjutant General's requirement for soldiers qualified for service in a Field Force Unit following successful Special-to-Arm Training. 1
- 5. To meet the Adjutant General's requirement for soldiers' professional development training. 1
- 6. To achieve efficiency savings greater than £20 million in 1997–98. During the year to develop an efficiency index that measures training output and associated costs as a baseline to achieve year on year improvements in efficiency.
I shall arrange for copies of the agency's Framework Document to be placed in the Library of both Houses.1 As expressed in the Statement of Training Requirement (SOTRs) which stipulate the numbers to be trained, the standards to be achieved and when the output is required. SOTRs are published (internally within MOD) in AG's Annual Management Plan, although with the agreement of the Agency they may be updated during the year to reflect changes to the requirement.