HC Deb 06 March 2000 vol 345 cc485-6W
Mr. Menzies Campbell

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list(a) those targets of the UK Hydrographic Office 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. [111735]

Dr. Moonie

This is a matter for the Chief Executive of the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office. I have asked the Chief Executive to write to the right hon. and learned Member.

Letter from J. P. Clarke to Mr. Menzies Campbell, dated 6 March 2000: You recently asked the Secretary of State for Defence a Parliamentary Question relating to the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO). As the matters you raise fall within my responsibility as Chief Executive of the UKHO, I have been asked to reply to you direct. The Agency's performance on key targets were reported in our Annual Report and Accounts 1998–99, which is available in the Library of the House. The following targets for 1998–99 were achieved: Key Target 2 To achieve 100% of the endorsed and funded Defence Programme to cost, quality and timeliness targets as defined in Tasking Authorisation Forms (TAFs); Key Target 3 To meet short-notice Defence operational requirements within agreed timescales; Key Target 4 Implement, by 30 September 1998, new performance indicators of product availability and service levels for response times as perceived from our customers' perspective for improving safe navigation; Key Target 5 To break even taking one year with another; and Key Target 6 To achieve an average Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) during the plan period of 7.5 per cent. The following factors affected the outcome of the remaining two targets for 1998–99: Key Target 1 To process and promulgate priority safety information within stated timescales from receipt of data. The five performance indicators that contribute to this target and the actual annual per cent. compliance achieved for each is as follows:

  1. 1. 100 per cent. of Radio Navigational warnings (RNW) within thirty minutes for SafetyNet and four hours for NAVTEX. Achieved 100 per cent.
  2. 2. 100 per cent. textural Notices to Mariners from textural sources within 5 weeks. Achieved 98 per cent.
  3. 3. 100 per cent. textural Notices to Mariners from graphic sources within 10 weeks. Achieved 94 per cent.
  4. 4. 100 per cent. Notice to Mariners - issued as Blocks within 15 weeks. Achieved 100 per cent.
  5. 5. 100 per cent. Urgent New Editions within 24 weeks. Achieved 99 per cent.
The Notice to Mariners performance indicators are challenging and any failure to meet them is examined for reasons and ways to improve our processes. The Urgent New Editions Performance reflects the delay of one new edition due to higher priority work. Key Target 7 To achieve efficiency savings of 13.5 per cent. of controllable costs (based on controllable costs for FY95–96) by 31 March 2001. This Key Target is not due for completion until 31 March 2001. The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office has achieved a net positive efficiency and is on target to meet the five-year objective of 13.5 per cent. To improve target achievement performance in 1999–2000, the UKHO detailed a range of improvement measures in a five year Corporate Plan that was approved by the responsible Minister. The plan includes proposals for both short and long-term Improvements and details a range of capital investments, performance reviews and an efficiency plan.