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Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list (a) those targets of the RAF Training Group Defence 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. 
Letter from G. E. Willis to Mr. Menzies Campbell, dated 6 March 2000:
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I am replying to your Question to the Secretary of State for Defence about the RAF Training Group Defence Agency performance against its 1998-99 Key Targets as these matters fall within my responsibility as Chief Executive of the Agency.
The Agency had 4 Key Targets which were published in the Training Group Defence Agency Annual Report and Accounts 1998-1999, a copy of which was placed in the Library of the House.
Key Target 1--Quality of Product. This target is concerned with the achievement of customer satisfaction with the quality of graduate trainees, as reflected in Customer Advisory Committee reports to the Air Officer Commanding in-Chief. The specific target for 1998-99 was the development of a quality monitoring system by 31 March 1999, which was achieved.
Key Target 2--Efficiency. The target was to deliver the savings that accrue from the efficiencies planned for FY 98-99. The requirement for 1998-99 was a saving of £10.042M. The actual savings made of £11.529M means this target was also achieved.
Key Target 3a--Quantity of Output (Flying Training). This target concerns the percentage of trained personnel delivered against RAF requirements. The target set for 1998-99 was 96.0%. The actual achievement was 78.8%. Full output was only achieved in the case of Air Engineers. The reasons for shortfalls in other areas of flying training were as follows:
Fast jet pilots--operational commitments, which took qualified flying instructors away from the flying training task and a temporary problem with aircraft serviceability were the main factors.
Multi engine pilots--student numbers had to be reduced because a backlog was developing due to the delayed delivery of the C130J impacting on the ability of the front line to absorb newly trained pilots.
Rotary Wing pilots--a shortfall arose as the failure rate of trainees was slightly higher than forecast.
Navigators--a temporary instructor shortage and poor weather resulted in the cancellation of one course. Additionally, some navigator recruits were switched to pilot training during their Initial Officer Training to meet increased demand for pilots.
Airmen Aircrew disciplines--insufficient recruits to meet the full requirements.
Key Target 3b--Quantity of Output (Ground Training). This target also concerns the percentage of trained personnel delivered against RAF requirements. The target set for 1998-99 was 97.0%.
The actual achievement was 96.3%. The shortfall was due to recruitment difficulties in certain trades, most notably the RAF Regiment.
Key Target 4--Development of Output Costings and Unit Cost Measures. This target covered the need to provide full output costings and associated unit cost and efficiency measures for the Agency by FY 00-01. The 1998-99 target which was to produce an Output Costing Model was achieved.
You ask what action is being taken to improve performance. The remedial actions taken by the Training Group Defence Agency are as follows:
All non-essential flying tasks cancelled to maximise the flying training hours available.
Management action has increased the serviceability of aircraft and improved the provision of spares.
The Hercules Multi-Engine Operational Conversion Unit's planned output is being increased to eliminate the backlog of students.
The RAF Personnel Management Agency has addressed the availability of instructors.
Recruiting strategy has been reviewed and as a result we are targeting populations where recruitment has been poor.
In addition to the recruitment measures other actions to improve performance against Ground Training targets include pre-training course visits by potential recruits to the RAF Regiment Depot and the development of new training courses that provide the opportunity to gain Modern Apprenticeships. I am pleased to say that these are proving very popular with the recruitment of aircraft technicians.
I hope that this is helpful.
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Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list (a) those targets of the Defence Communications Services 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. 
Letter from A. J. Raper to Mr. Menzies Campbell, dated 6 March 2000:
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I am replying to your question to the Secretary of State for Defence, about the targets for the Defence Communication Services Agency, as this matter falls within my area of responsibility, being the Chief Executive of the Agency.
I am pleased to report that the DCSA achieved all of its Key Targets for the Financial Year 1998/99. Further information is contained on Page 10 of the DCSA Annual Report 1998/1999, a copy of which is in the Library of the House. The DCSA Key Targets for 1998/99 were essentially developmental targets for the first year of the Agency's existence. They were primarily concerned with system availability as opposed to measuring of a service. This was a reflection of the approach historically taken by Defence in the provision of information services. However, it is the quality and availability of the services which are of importance to Defence customers and the Key Targets for FY 1999/2000 therefore focus on measurement of these services. Clearly, the new Key Targets needed to be both quantitative and measurable. I have included details of them at Annex A for your information.
Given the need to focus upon the provisions of services, the DCSA has changed its internal management processes accordingly and reviews the performance of its services against the new Key Targets on a monthly basis. The information is presented to the Management Board using a Balanced Scorecard approach, supported by a comprehensive monthly report, which provides detailed
analysis of Agency performance against its Business Plan and all 4 Key Targets. The Agency has improved performance against the targets by designing and then refining the internal business processes that are needed to deliver services. The proposed Key Targets for Financial Year 2000/01 will not change as radically as the change between the Agency's first years with the exception of the inclusion of a new efficiency target: to achieve an improvement in efficiency by reducing the average unit cost of output for current DCSA products by 5% per annum.
DCSA Key Targets For 1999/00
1. KT1--Service Quality--To achieve a mean 95% of the quality of service performance targets in the Baseline Services Document for the timeliness, accuracy and protection of information transfer services except where other specific targets have been agreed with customers.
2. KT2--Service Provisioning--To commission 90% of new requests for service on or before the dates agreed with customers.
3. KT3 Service Restoration--To restore 95% of interrupted services classed as operationally urgent within 4 hours or within specific other periods agreed with customers.
4. KT4 Operator Services--To answer 85% of calls to DCSA telephone Operator Assistance Centres in UK and Germany within 15 seconds.
5. The following targets were also proposed as Key Targets for FY 1999-2000 but were deemed inappropriate. They have, however, been included within the Agency's Corporate Plan as strategic objectives:
a. Customer Satisfaction--To be graded Moderate or High in 70% of customer surveys.
b. Efficiency Measurement--To establish a baseline of unit costs of the DCSA's outputs against which efficiency targets can be set in future years.
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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. 
Letter from Brian Nimick to Mr. Menzies Campbell, dated 6 March 2000:
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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.
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