§ Mr. McCabe
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what performance targets have been set for the Environment and Heritage Service in 1999–2000. 
§ Marjorie Mowlam
For 1999–2000 the following performance targets have been set for the Environment and Heritage Service.Volume of OutputBring about a 10 per cent, reduction in the number of 'high' and 'medium' severity water pollution incidents by the year 2000 on 1996 figures.Establish regulatory systems for the COMAH (Control of Major Accident Hazard) Regulations in conjunction with the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland by 31 December 1999.Issue large combustion plant authorisation under the Industrial Pollution Control Order by 31 October 1999.Progress the Areas of Special Scientific Interest designation programme by:declaring 15 Areas of Special Scientific Interest bringing the total to 174, and preparing statements of conservation objectives for 50 sites.Complete public consultation on the draft Northern Ireland Biodiversity Strategy and publish the agreed strategy and implementation plan.393WConsult on and publish a policy statement on Protected Landscapes.Schedule 70 historic monuments to bring the total to 1,435.Complete an assessment of the condition of state care monuments.Complete the second survey of historic buildings in 24 wards to bring the total resurveyed to 78.Publish an EHS strategy for environmental education.
Quality of Customer ServiceRespond to 90 per cent. of written inquiries or requests for information within 15 working days.Determine 85 per cent. of applications of Water Act consents, wildlife licences, ASSI and scheduled monument consents within the timescales quoted in our Customer Service Guides.Provide a round the clock response for water pollution incidents. We will assess and prioritise all reported incidents within 30 minutes of receipt by EHS, and aim to begin investigation of such incidents as soon as practicable—in all cases within 24 hours.
EfficiencyAchieve the following unit and activity cost and efficiency targets:Water Act Consents—trade consent reduce by I per cent. on 1998–99 costs—domestic consent reduce by I per cent. on 1998–99 costs.Food and Environment Protection Act—construction licence reduce by 1 per cent. on 1998–99 costs—disposal licence reduce by 1 per cent. on 1998–99 costs.Radioactive Substances Act certificates (section 7/10) reduce by 1 per cent. on 1998–99 costs (section 13/14) reduce by 1 per cent. on 1998–99 costs.Not to exceed 1998–99 running cost expenditure levels for ongoing existing activities for operation Country Parks. Reduce total Corporate Affairs activity costs by 1 per cent. on 1998–99 costs.Not to exceed 1998–99 running cost expenditure levels for ongoing existing activities for presenting and marketing Historic Monuments.Achieve 3.75 per cent. efficiency gains on running costs expenditure.Complete implementation of EHS's Y2K action plan by 31 December 1999.
These targets are subject to endorsement or amendment by local Ministers in the event of the Northern Ireland Assembly being established.
§ Mr. McCabe
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what performance targets have been set for the Valuation and Lands Agency in 1999–2000. 
§ Mr. Paul Murphy
The 1999–2000 the following key performance targets have been set for the Agency:
- 1. To complete 85 per cent. of new rating revision casework within three months of receipt, up to a maximum volume of 23,000 casework units.
- 2. To reduce the backlog of rating revision casework so that by 31 March 2000 the average age of outstanding casework will be two months or less.
- 3. To achieve a turnaround of 16 weeks on average for all rating appeals.
- 4. To complete 97 per cent. of all client casework subject to Service Level Agreements within agreed time limits.
- 5. To review all client Service Level Agreements, agree service requirements and establish meaningful customer service measurement criteria for the next business year, by 31 December 1999.
- 6. To achieve a unit cost of casework no greater than the 1998–99 unit cost in real terms.
- 7. To achieve a standard in all rating valuations such that 90 per cent. of those determined on appeal are within plus or minus 10 per cent. of the initial assessment.
- 8. To issue 93 per cent. of certificates for Continuous Revision cases subject to retrospective backdating within 12 months of the event giving rise to the revision of the Valuation List.
- 9. To demonstrate the ability to achieve full cost recovery in respect of client services.
- 10. To have in place by 31 January 2000 an agreed specification by which external providers could bid for new systems design and installation.
- 11. To achieve Investors in People accreditation by 31 March 2000.
Full details are set out in the Agency's Forward Plan, copies of which have placed in the Library of the House.