HL Deb 18 December 2000 vol 620 c38WA
Lord Puttnam

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What proposals they have for changing personnel management in the Naval Service. [HL108]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

We are considering improved approaches to the current arrangements for the management of people in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. The aim of these changes which have been instigated by the Navy Board is to alleviate overstretch by lessening the impact on the individual of a high operational tempo and to reduce the turbulence which existing arrangements may produce. The benefits should include greater stability for members of the Naval Service and their families, both in geographical terms and in the predictability of their employment, and hence enable them to plan their lives with greater certainty.

The project is known as TOPMAST (Tomorrow's Personnel Management System). A basic concept has been outlined and will now be further developed. The concept is designed to provide the individual with quality sea time and properly managed time ashore, determined by reference to the individual rather than to the ship or unit, as under present arrangements.

TOPMAST will apply to all members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines and is designed to enhance their quality of life while bringing greater flexibility to their employment. It is planned that these improvements will be implemented in phases, beginning to take effect from as early as late 2001, subject to the outcome of the next phase of development.