§ Mr. Menzies Campbell
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list(a) those targets of the Medical Supplies Agency for 1998–99 which (i) were and (ii) were not achieved, giving the factors affecting the outcome in each case and (b) action taken by the agency to improve target achievement performance in 1999–2000; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Dr. Moonie
This is a matter for the Chief Executive of the Medical Supplies Agency. I have asked the Chief Executive to write to the right hon. and learned Member.
Letter from Brian Nimick to Mr. Menzies Campbell, dated 6 March 2000:1. I am replying to your question to the Secretary of State for Defence about the Medical Supplies agency's performance and targets for financial year 1998/99 as these matters fall within my area of responsibility as Chief Executive of the Medical Supplies Agency.2. The details of those targets for 1998/99, which were achieved are shown below:
- a. The Key Targets of this Agency for 1998/99 which were achieved:
- (1) Key Target 1. To build, completed and to time and within budget, for all three Services, 95% of the programme for kits, outfits and packs, as defined in endorsed Equipment Tables and as directed by Director Medical Programme and Plans, at the Surgeon General's Headquarters.
- (2) Achievement and factors affecting the outcome. The build programme originally defined was met apart from one tranche. In terms of modules completed this represented a 98% success, so the Key Target was achieved. The one tranche not completed was deferred by Director Medical Programme and Plans, because of other urgent operational commitments. These accounted to more than the postponed tranche, but were successfully completed by the Medical Supplies Agency.
- (3) Key Target 2. To meet 100% of the Services' requirements for stocked medical material blood products for operations.
- (4) Achievement. As at the fourth quarter of 1998/99, all requirements for stocked medical material and blood products for operations had been met despite heavy operational commitments.
- (5) Key Target 3. To meet 98% of the Services' requirements for stocked medical material and blood products for exercises and training.
- (6) Achievement. The services' planned requirements for exercises and training were fully met by the fourth quarter of the financial year 1998/99.
- (7) Key Target 5. To improve the ratio of stock held from 1.30 to 1.72.
- (8) Achievement. The Stockturn figures for the financial year 1998/99 was 1.96.
- (9) Key Target 6. By 31 December 1998, the Medical. Supplies Agency will have set in place a mechanism, which communicates the full cost of the drugs and medical material supplied. The communicated costs will be in a format which is acceptable to the Agency's major customers, whether or not they have a Service Level Agreement.
- (10) Achievement. The means of communicating costs was in place by 31 December 1998. The format has been continually developed by the Agency and its customers.
- b. The Key Target of this Agency for 1998/99 which was not achieved with factors affecting the outcome are as follows:
- (1) Key Target 4. to meet 85% of demands for Category B items, within the Medical Supplies Agency's new charter standard (next day delivery of priority demands; 72 hours for routine); and 95% within one week.
- (2) Achievement and factors affecting the outcome. The Annual Report for 1998/99 recorded an overall improvement throughout the year. The success rate for the fourth quarter was 78% achieved within 1 week for priority demands, with 56% within 1–3 days. Overall the figures show 54% of all demands were achieved within 1 week and 45% of demands were achieved within 1–3 days.
- (3) Comment: This new Charter Standard was introduced at the start of the year, which was a step change form the MOD standard of 28 working days for routine delivery. The standard was regarded as aspirational and the first target speculative. In the event, our plans suffered because of an unforecast and substantial increase in the number of demands presented over the period: up from 66,000 in the first quarter of 1997/98 to 78,500 in the last quarter of 1998/99. Had the volume of demand remained constant, it is probable that this target would have been met. In the overall assessment of this Agency's performance Surgeon General accepted these difficulties.3. Details of the actions taken by the agency to improve target achievement performance in 1999/2000 are as follows:
- a. A complete review of the inventory to ensure the correct balance between items supplied from stock and those procured to order (benefit all Key Targets).
- b. The extension of E-Commerce to cover a larger range of high volume items in the inventory (Key Target 4).
- c. The introduction of the use of production orders in the modular build programme (Key Targets 1, 2 and 3).
- d. An extensive programme to dispose of unwanted items (Key Target 5).
- e. The introduction of computerised interim stock management at the Medical Distribution Centres (Key Target 4).4. The Medical Supplies Agency's Annual Report and Accounts for 1998/99 are currently being produced. Copies will be lodged in the libraries of The House of Commons and The House of Lords following publication.