§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Mr. Ian Pearson)
Rivers Agency is an exclusive agency of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland. It acts on behalf of the Department as the statutory drainage and flood defence authority for Northern Ireland.
I have set the following key targets for the agency for the 2003–04 business year:To construct or refurbish 562 metres of urban flood defences.To accommodate increased storm run-off from 39 hectares of development land.To replace or refurbish 225 metres of dangerous culverts.31WSTo complete identified maintenance work on 1225 of the 1559 designated open watercourses included in the notice of annual maintenance as part of a 6 year scheduled maintenance programme.To issue substantive replies to 80 per cent. of written enquiries within 15 working days of receipt.To respond to 98 per cent. of Schedule 6 applications within 6 months.32WSSubject to any agreed end year flexibility adjustments, to control programme expenditure to within 0.5 per cent. shortfall of the final cash control total.Subject to any end year flexibility adjustments, to control programme expenditure to within 6 per cent. of the agreed resource budget.To control DRC expenditure to within 1 per cent. shortfall of the final control total.