HC Deb 16 June 1999 vol 333 cc142-3W
Mr. Jim Murphy

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what performance targets have been set for the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland in 1999–2000. [87563]

Marjorie Mowlam

For 1999–2000, the following performance targets have been set out for PRONI:

Financial Performance To meet the challenge of managing the Agency's workload by:

  1. a) implementing the results of staff grading review so as to achieve a 3 per cent. efficiency gain while coping with a 4 per cent. increase in on-site public use of PRONI.
  2. b) Ensuring that expenditure is within the financial limits approved by the Department.


  • To appraise at least 4,500 linear metres of records, including the reappraisal of records so as to eliminate low-grade material.
  • To list and index at least 550 linear metres of records, including ensuring that 100 per cent. of all new "open" material is processed within one year of receipt.

Quality of Service

  • To maintain the extra 4 hours opening per week beyond the standard 37½ hours.
  • With the help of the computerised document request system, to improve the speed of on-site production to the public by reducing waiting time from 34 minutes to 30 minutes or less in 90 per cent. of cases.
  • To process customer queries within 10 working days of receipt in 90 per cent. of cases and within 14 working days in 96 per cent. of cases, thus maintaining PRONI's Citizen Charter commitment.
  • To ensure by 31 December 1999 the smooth completing of the annual release for 2000—c.2,000 records—as well as the on-going release of identified blocks of records at earlier than 30 years.
  • As part of a 10-year storage improvement programme, to survey the conditions in which 10 per cent. of 33,360 metres of records are stored, and, in a related exercise, to take remedial action on upgrading, c.1,800 linear-metres of records as presently stored on mobile shelving or in plan cases in Balmoral Avenue so as to bring them up to defined standards of archival protection.
  • To complete remedial conservation treatment (assessed overall as of medium technical difficulty) of at least 3,000 archive units, mainly from Grade 1 archives.
  • To provide standards of service which ensure that the number of unsatisfied customers does not exceed 2 per cent. as reflected in signed customers satisfaction questionnaires.

Efficiency To reduce by 3 per cent. (from £198 to 192), PRONI's composite Unit Cost in the areas of selecting and accessioning, records listing, records storage, document production, reader services. correspondence, outreach, public photocopying conservation and security microfilming.