§ Mr. David Stewart
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement about the targets for the Registers of Scotland executive agency in the financial year 1998–99. 
§ Mr. Dewar
I have set the Registers of Scotland the following key targets for 1998–99: for the trading fund to achieve a return of 6 per cent. on net capital employed over the 3 year period ending 31 March 1999; to achieve the transfer of the counties of Perth, Angus and Kinross to the Land Register on 1 April 1999; to maintain and enhance customer service through the retention of charter mark and by improving customer satisfaction on first registration turnround times to 75 per cent. by 31 March 2000; to reduce progressively the turnround time for sasine writs to 25 days by 31 March 1999; to reduce progressively the turnround time for dealings with whole in the Land Register to 25 days by 31 March 1999; to reduce unit costs by 5.4 per cent. in real terms for sasine writs by 31 March 1999 from the base of £32.46 at 31 March 1997; to reduce unit costs by 2.4 per cent. in real terms for dealings with whole by 31 March 1999 from the base of £55.10 at 31 March 1997; and to launch a direct access service to customers by 30 November 1998.