§ Shona McIsaac
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he expects to announce the key targets for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for 1999–2000. 
§ Mr. Hill
I have today placed in the House Library a copy of the agency's business plan which includes its key targets for 1999–2000. The issue of the plan was delayed pending the publication of the Government's response to the Transport Select Committee's report on the Maritime and Coastguard Agency which recommended de-merger. That response was published on 12 August.
The key targets for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency are:
- To complete: (a) at least 95 per cent. of the agreed programme of inspections, and (b) at least 90 per cent. of agreed key tasks.
- To decide on the search and rescue (SAR) response to accidents and life-threatening situations, and to initiate action if necessary, within 5 minutes of being alerted in at least 95 per cent. of cases.
- To follow up at least 95 per cent. of significant breaches of safety and environmental aspects of Merchant Shipping legislation to determine whether prosecution is appropriate.
- To implement the outcomes of the review of the organisation, operations and functions of MCA to be operational by 31 December 1999.