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Written Ministerial Statements

Wednesday 23 March 2005


OGCbuying.solutions: Performance Targets for 2005–06

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Paul Boateng): I have today set the following performance targets for OGCbuying.solutions for 2005–06.


Customer Satisfaction




Claims Management Companies

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs (Mr. David Lammy): My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer of Thoroton, has made the following written ministerial statement in the other place yesterday, 22 March 2005.

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Justice and Community Safety Inspectorate

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs (Mr. Christopher Leslie): Today the Government will publish their report "Establishing an Inspectorate for Justice and Community Safety". Copies of the report have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The proposals for consultation outlined in the report aim to introduce root and branch reform, changing the structure of inspection in the criminal justice system and enhancing the capacity for leadership and decision making.

Independent inspection in the criminal justice system plays an important role in improving services and holding organisations to account for their performance. In recent years every criminal justice agency has undergone reform to deliver improvements to services; it is essential that the inspection regime is reformed to support these changes.

The five justice inspectorates have done an excellent job in driving up performance. Therefore the Government propose to build on the current base of expertise and create an inspectorate for justice and community safety that continues the rigorous independent inspection of criminal justice agencies, including the treatment and conditions of those in custody, whilst broadening this to inspect across organisational boundaries to deliver a more joined up inspection system; an inspection regime that inspects the criminal justice process from end to end, supports the frontline by reducing unnecessary burden and bureaucracy and examines how the system can better deliver for those who come into contact with it.

The Government welcome views on the precise design of the new inspectorate before 15 June 2005.


Digital Television

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Tessa Jowell): I have today published the report of the digital television project which sets out advice to Government on the process of digital switchover. The report is the culmination of nearly three years work by broadcasters, regulators and industry working with Government and other stakeholders. The report sets out a detailed strategy for achieving digital switchover and will help inform Government decisions about how and when to proceed with digital switchover.
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There are still important questions that need to be resolved before we can announce the final timetable for switchover. We are currently working with the BBC to assess the scope of assistance schemes to help vulnerable consumers through switchover. We will only confirm the timetable once all remaining issues relating to digital switchover are resolved and we are satisfied that the interests of consumers, especially the most vulnerable, are well protected.

Copies of the report of the digital television project have been placed in the Library.


Warship Support Agency

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Mr. Adam Ingram): The House will wish to be aware that, as part of an internal restructuring of the Defence Logistics Organisation, the decision has been taken to disestablish the Warship Support Agency with effect from 1 April this year and to subsume its work in the new defence logistics structure.

The DLO restructuring is aimed at establishing the most effective and efficient organisation to support modern operations. In particular, we are seeking to achieve a clear customer focus, clarity of outputs and objectives, strong performance management, visibility of targets and performance and a strong governance regime in a way that is common across the whole of logistics support to the front line.

I expect the agency's annual report and accounts for financial year 2004–05 to be ready to be laid in Parliament before the summer recess.

Medical Supplies Agency

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Mr. Adam Ingram): With effect from 1 April 2005 the Medical Supplies Agency (MSA) will cease to hold agency status. This has been decided as a result of Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO) restructuring proposals and the findings of the DLO/MSA integration review report.

Following the medical quinquennial review and the DLO/MSA integration review report, the ownership of the MSA transferred from the Surgeon General's Department (now the Defence Medical Services Department) to the DLO on 1 April 2002. The MSA is now integrated into the broad supply chain within the DLO. The MSA has ceased to be a storage and distribution organisation, has adopted DLO's business processes and has reduced in size. The MSA's role and business have undergone significant change and are no longer appropriate or large enough to justify agency status. I have therefore decided that agency status for the Medical Supplies Agency should cease and that the organisation should be retitled the Medical Supplies Integrated Project Team

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