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Defence Aviation Repair Agency

Gillian Merron: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what performance targets have been set for the Defence Aviation Repair Agency for financial year 2002–03. [72884]

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Dr. Moonie: Key Performance Indicators have been set for the Chief Executive of the Defence Aviation Repair Agency (DARA) for financial year 2002–03 as follows:

DARA key performance indicators for financial year 2002–03

KPI 1—Financial performance 1The measurement of DARA's ROCETo achieve a minimum average ROCE of 6 per cent. over the first three years of trading—subject to the maintenance of current MOD customer planning assumptions, the availability of sufficient funding and the understanding that directed sub-contract work will count towards the obligation.
KPI 2—Financial performance 2The measurement of value of contracts won.To achieve order intake to the value of at least £60 million.
KPI-3—QualityThe measurement of attributable major customer concerns received from DARA's customersTo have no more attributable major customer concerns than the baseline set on DARA's performance of financial year 2001–02
KPI4—EfficiencyThe measurement of the reduction in unit production price of a representative basket of DARA outputsTo achieve a reduction in the unit production price of 4 per cent. in real terms, of the basket of products (weighted by value of annual task quantity), baselined from financial year 2001–02—subject to the maintenance of current MOD customer planning assumptions, the availability of sufficient funding and the understanding that directed sub-contract work will count towards the obligation.

Defence Evaluation and Research Agency

Gillian Merron: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the progress of the public-private partnership for the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency. [72885]

Dr. Moonie: On 1 July 2001 the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency was successfully divided into QinetiQ plc, currently a wholly Government-owned company, and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, which remains part of the Ministry of Defence.

On 6 March 2002, I informed the House that we had decided to sell a substantial stake in QinetiQ to a strategic partner who would help to develop the company in preparation for a future flotation on the stockmarket. Our decision followed a detailed analysis of market conditions, which led us to conclude that this approach offered best value for the taxpayer, and would meet our objectives for a successful public private partnership.

Immediately following this announcement we initiated an open competition and carried out a pre-qualification process to identify potential partners. Almost 40 expressions of interest were received, and at the end of April 2002 12 organisations were selected to receive an Information Memorandum describing the company. Following an evaluation in late May 2002 of indicative offers from bidders, several companies were then provided with access to more detailed information on QinetiQ and invited to submit final binding bids. In order to maximise competition we do not propose to reveal how many companies were selected to participate in this stage, or their identities.

We have received a number of responses within the last few days from the shortlisted bidders, and these are now being comprehensively evaluated by officials and specialist advisers. The results of the selection process are not yet available but we remain on track to identify the preferred bidder within the next few weeks, and complete the initial sale later this year.


Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if, in respect of his departmental minute concerning the Ministry of Defence's agreement with QinetiQ on the allocation of pre-vesting liabilities dated 8 July, he will withhold final approval of the proposed indemnity for inherited environmental liabilities to be provided for QinetiQ until such time as a detailed financial appraisal of the prospective size of the liabilities is provided to Parliament for debate. [72296]

Dr. Moonie: No. It is important to understand that the vast majority of environmental liabilities on freehold sites have transferred to QinetiQ. The small number of liabilities inherited by QinetiQ to which the departmental

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minute refers is being retained in Government as detailed analysis has shown that this represents best value for money in the light of reasonable commercial insurance not being available. The very low level of past claims and specialist analysis suggest actual risk associated with these specific liabilities is extremely small.

Lancer Reconnaissance System

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the Lancer reconnaissance integrated technology system is expected to replace the reconnaissance vehicles in service in the UK military; and if he will make a statement. [70056]

Dr. Moonie: The Lancer integrated demonstrator vehicle was one of two developed under the assessment phase of the joint UK/US Tracer programme. This vehicle is undergoing a series of user trials to demonstrate the technical maturity and military utility of a number of key armoured vehicle technologies.

Although the participating nations decided, jointly, to terminate the Tracer programme at the end of the assessment phase, we expect to be able to apply some of the key technologies to future equipment programmes, in particular the Future Rapid Effects System (FRES) programme, which is due to enter service around the end of the decade.


Staff Training

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Solicitor-General how much the Department has spent on staff training and development in each of the last five years. [61051]

The Solicitor-General: The amount spent by each of the Departments for which the Attorney-General is responsible in each of the last five years is set out below.

Crown Prosecution Service
1997–98: £1,234,217
1998–99: £1,339,271
1999–2000: £2,069,216
2000–01: £2,700,903
2001–02: £5,620,922
Serious Fraud Office
1996–97: £127,051
1997–98: £134,692
1998–99: £124,949
1999–2000: £180,936
2000–01: £237,996
Treasury Solicitor's Department
Figures for the last four years are:
1998–99: £213,460
1999–2000: £230,690
2000–01: £337,900
2001–02: £402,080
Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers
1998–99: £13,820
1999–2000: £8,800
2000–01: £11,750
2001–02: £10,500

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HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate
Information is only available for the year 2001–02 as before 1 April 2001 the inspectorate was part of the Crown Prosecution Service and training costs form part of the figures provided by the CPTs. The sum expended on training in 2001–02 was £26,600.


Radioactive Discharges

Gillian Merron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she expects to publish the UK strategy for radioactive discharges. [73103]

Mr. Meacher: The strategy is currently being printed and will be published very shortly. Copies will be placed in the Library. The document will also be available on the DEFRA website.

The strategy demonstrates how the UK will achieve substantial reductions in radioactive discharges in the period to 2020, to implement agreements reached at the 1998 ministerial meeting and subsequent meetings of the OSPAR Commission.

Radioactive discharges in the UK have already been reduced to around 1 per cent. of peak levels in the 1970s. This strategy represents the next chapter of what has been an increasingly effective policy to minimise such discharges and shows that the Government are determined to maintain the downward pressure and achieve the objective of the OSPAR radioactive substances strategy.

Rural Payments Agency

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what targets she has set the Rural Payments Agency for 2002–03. [72961]

Margaret Beckett: I have set the Rural Payments Agency the following performance targets for 2002–03:

Efficiency Performance
1. To successfully negotiate Office of Government Commerce (OGC) Gateway 3 by 31 December 2002.
2. To ensure the main programme contract is ready to let by 31 December 2002, once Gateway 3 is achieved.
Financial Performance
3. To operate within the 2002–03 resource budget allocations as agreed with DEFRA.
4. To ensure that disallowance within the control of RPA due to non-compliance with EU requirement remains below 2 per cent. of the value of CAP payments made by the Agency.
5. To account accurately and to deadline for EAGGF funds.
Business Continuity and Service Delivery
6. To process and pay at least 96.14 per cent. of valid IACS claims by value within the EU deadline.
7. To process and pay at least 85 per cent. of valid non-IACS claims by volume within ministerial deadlines and all claims within the set EU deadlines or in their absence 60 days.
8. To process at least 98.5 per cent. of all valid claims correctly.
Service Quality and Delivery
9. To publish customer service standards that meet Charter Mark guidelines by 30 June 2002.
10. To use the customer survey to establish a baseline for customer satisfaction and agree and undertake improvement activities by 31 December 2002.

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11. To use the EFQM Excellence Model in all RPA business units to assess current enablers' ability to deliver required targets and outcomes, agreeing change action plans by 31 March 2003.
Reform Initiatives
12. To use the staff survey to establish a baseline for staff satisfaction by 31 December 2002 and agree and undertake improvement activities by 31 March 2003.
13. To complete roll out of diversity training across RPA by 31 March 2003.
14. To reduce sick absence to no more than 7.9 days per staff year by 31 March 2003.

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