HC Deb 06 March 2000 vol 345 cc496-7W
Mr. Menzies Campbell

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list(a) those targets of the Pay and Personnel 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. [111759]

Dr. Moonie

This is a matter for the Chief Executive of the Pay and Personnel Agency. I have asked the Chief Executive to write to the right hon. and learned Member.

Letter from M. A. Rowe to Mr. Menzies Campbell, dated 6 March 2000: I am replying to your Question to the Secretary of State for Defence about the targets of the Pay & Personnel Agency as this matter falls within my area of responsibility as Chief Executive of the Agency. The Pay & Personnel Agency is responsible for providing pay and personnel services for the Ministry of Defence. The Agency's performance against its key targets for 1998/99 was reported in the Agency's Annual Report and Accounts, House of Commons Paper No. 595, which was laid before the House on 16 July 1999. The key targets covered performance in the areas of service delivery, customer satisfaction, efficiency, systems, and people. All targets were achieved except those covering the timeliness of payments, where performance ranged from 97.3% to 99.9% against the aim of 100%, and the achievement of Investors in People accreditation. With several million payments to make each year across all areas of the PPA's business these shortfalls were the result of inevitable but minimal processing errors. Recognising this realism but also the need not to abandon the aim of payment on time every time, the key service delivery targets for the current year have included just a single Agency wide target of 100%. During 1998/1999 the Agency launched a major internal efficiency review which has now delivered efficiency savings well above the Departmental target but which persuaded us to defer the Investors in People assessment in view of the temporary turbulence caused by the review. Training was also a factor and the Agency is carrying out an intensive training programme which is intended to improve performance across the range of services provided and which will contribute to the Agency's aim to achieve Investors in People accreditation before the end of this financial year.