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Local Transport Act 2008 (Quality Contracts Schemes)

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Mr. Sadiq Khan): The Local Transport Act 2008 includes provisions designed to make bus quality contracts schemes-the London-style model of bus contracts-a
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more realistic option for local transport authorities throughout England and Wales. The Government announced on 10 December 2009 that these provisions will come into force, in England, on 11 January 2010.

The Government are announcing today the appointment of six individuals to a QCS board panel from which members of QCS boards will be appointed. QCS boards are independent boards with a remit to provide an opinion on whether proposed quality contracts schemes in England meet the statutory public interest criteria, and on whether due process has been followed.

It is also envisaged that QCS board panel members will be called upon to provide advice to traffic commissioners on quality partnership scheme (QPS) "admissible objections".

A QPS is made by a local transport authority, under which the authority provides facilities (for example, bus lanes) and any bus operator wishing to use those facilities must operate services to the standard specified in the scheme.

Following amendments made by the Local Transport Act 2008 to the 2000 Act, a QPS can include requirements about frequencies, timings and maximum fares as part of the "standard of service". But they can do so only if there are no "admissible objections" from relevant bus operators.

In the first instance it is for the local authority to determine whether an operator has an "admissible objection" on either or both of the two grounds set out in regulations. But where there is a disagreement between operator and authority, the objecting operator may refer the matter to a traffic commissioner for an independent determination.

A number of local authorities either have, or are planning, quality partnership schemes.

The panel will comprise:

Andrew Burchell

Currently an "Appeals Decision Maker" for the Department for Transport in respect of concessionary travel appeals from bus operators, Andrew has gained a wide range of skills including as a Government economist, a senior civil servant and member of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' management board. He sits on the community services board of his local primary care trust, as an "independent lay member", and is Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees at his local citizens advice bureau.

Tim Larner

Founding Director of Strata Consultants, Tim has over 35 years' experience of local transport planning, including providing advice to passenger transport executive CEOs as the former Director of the Support Unit at PTEG. He has worked to raise the profile of PTEs, highlighting their role in transport policy development.

Peter Hardy

A Project Director at JMP Consultants, Peter has 26 years experience in transport planning starting in a local authority environment and specialising in areas including passenger transport development, policy and strategy for both the public and private sectors.

James Reeves

Currently Technical Director for Gifford UK, James has worked extensively in the transport sector both in
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the UK and abroad. Including a period as a local authority officer, he has experience in transport economics and planning.

Alan Wann

Former roles at Northumberland county council include Head of Highways, Transport and Waste services; Head of Regeneration; and Principal Adviser to the Chief Executive. Alan has recently become an independent consultant specialising in sustainable economic, social and cultural regeneration.

David Humphrey

Recently retired after 42 years in the public transport industry, David has held a number of senior roles in both the bus and tram sectors. A former President of the Confederation of Passenger Transport, he is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.

A further two candidates will be held in reserve.

Motoring and Freight Services (Ministerial Targets)

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Paul Clark): A range of high-level targets for the 2010-11 year has been set on behalf of the agencies within the Motoring and Freight Services Group: the Driving Standards Agency, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, the Vehicle Certification Agency, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency and the Government Car and Despatch Agency. They are included in the agencies' business plans together with their associated measures. The plans also include a range of management targets, performance indicators and key tasks which are appropriate to the agencies' businesses. Copies of the business plans will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses shortly.

The key targets for the Driving Standards Agency are:

Secretary of State Targets

Maintain the integrity and quality of the driving test by supervision of 95 per cent. of examiners including delegated examiners and conducting a rolling programme of 120 quality assurance visits

To strengthen and modernise the way that people learn to drive we will:

Develop proposals to modernise the driver training profession based on a syllabus and competence framework by September 2010; and

Develop the research element of stage 1 of the learning trial by March 2011

Introduce an assessment of competence while driving independently across all main practical tests by October 2010

Make appointments available within nine weeks at permanent car driving test centres-90 per cent.

Deliver the customer promises as set out in the agency business plan by March 2011

Achieve an additional £2 million of financial efficiency savings during 2010-11

Deliver agreed financial plan in 2010-11

The key targets for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency are:

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Secretary of State Targets

Maintain the accuracy of the vehicle register so that a registered keeper can be traced from details held on record in 95 per cent. of cases

Deliver the eight DFT customer promises

Complete achievement of the £80.7 million three-year target of efficiency savings for 2008-2011 by saving £36.2 million in 2010-11

Deliver financial performance agreed with DFT to at least balance income against expenditure for the 2010-11 year-end accounts

Collect over £5 billion of VED (net of refunds) and through enforcement action exceed £100 million in additional VED collected for the period 2008-11

Introduce continuous insurance enforcement (CIE) and have started to issue insurance advisory letters by 31 March 2011

The key targets for the Vehicle Certification Agency are:

Secretary of State Targets

Complete 90 per cent. of system and component type approval certificates within nine working days

99 per cent. of appraisal reports on our technical performance from independent panel members deemed to have no critical defects. (NB. suitable sample size to be determined)

To ensure the continued consistency and quality of VCA's approvals by

Carrying out a programme of conformity of production assessments for VCA-issued approvals using the risk-based methodology in line with the agreed programme,

Dangerous Goods packaging-carrying out a programme of conformity of production inspections in accordance with the service level agreement agreed with the Department.

Deliver the customer service promises as set out in this business plan

Continue the development of the systems and tools designed to assist existing and new manufacturers to comply with the revised type approval requirements for new vehicle types due to be included in 2010-11, by 31 October 2010.

Deliver the agreed testing, enforcement and in-service emission programmes by 31 March 2011 (NB. In-year milestones to be developed and agreed).

Achieve repeatable financial efficiency savings during 2010-11 in line with CSR07 efficiency delivery plan.

To achieve a £50,000 surplus on a full-cost basis

The key targets for the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency are:

Secretary of State Targets

Obtain agreement of and detailed plan for testing transformation:

Obtain agreement to detailed plans for transferring testing to authorised testing facilities (ATFs) in 20 catchment areas; and

Carry out sufficient marketing to deliver 40 new operational non-VOSA sites by 31/03/11

Deliver the eight customer service promises as set out in the VOSA Business Plan

In partnership with DFT (IHAC and LRI), determine a methodology to develop-and subsequently agree with DFT-an informed three-year target to 2013-14 to maintain or improve the trajectory of compliance with roadworthiness and traffic rules, using data gathered from past and future fleet compliance surveys

• Deliver agreed financial plan for 2010-11

• Achieve £2.6 million financial efficiency savings during 2010-11 as part of the comprehensive spending review delivery plan

The key targets for the Government Car and Despatch Agency are:

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Secretary of State Targets

To maintain accreditation for ISO 9001. The quality of service is measured by means of ISO 9001, the internationally recognised standard for quality management systems

To achieve scheduled mail collections and deliveries on a daily basis- 99 per cent.

Maintain the average tailpipe emissions of the Government car fleet-130g/km

Deliver the eight customer service promises as set out in the agency business plan

Achieve financial efficiency savings of £0.5 million during 2010-11 as part of the CSR efficiency delivery plan

Deliver financial performance in line with business plan

Work and Pensions

Executive Agencies and Crown Non-departmental Public Bodies

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Yvette Cooper): I am today able to announce the annual performance targets in 2010-11 for the executive agencies of the Department for Work and Pensions and of our crown Non-departmental Public Bodies-the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission and the Health and Safety Executive. The targets I have agreed are set out below.

Further information on the plans of the Department, its executive agencies and crown Non-departmental Public Bodies for 2010-11 is contained in their individual business plans which have been published today. Electronic copies have been deposited in the Library.

Jobcentre Plus's 2010-11 targets are:

Target description2010-11 Target Level

Job Outcome Target(1)

11.47 million

Interventions Delivery Target(2)


Employer Engagement Target(3)


Customer Service Target(4)


Fraud and Error(5)

To play a key role to prevent and detect overpayments and underpayments of benefit consistent with the Department's aim to reduce total overpaid expenditure across all benefits to 1.8%, and underpaid expenditure to 0.7%, of total benefit expenditure by March 2011.

By March 2011, to ensure that losses from fraud and error in working age Income Support and Jobseeker's Allowance amounts to less than 4.2% of overall expenditure

Average Actual Clearance Time

Jobseeker's Allowance

11 days

Income Support

9 days

Employment and Support Allowance

14 days

The Pension, Disability and Carers Service targets for 2010-11 are:

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Target description2010-11 Target Level

Pension Credit: take-up of new claims

180,000 successful new Pension Credit applications(6)

Accuracy of decisions

Attendance Allowance 94%

Carers Allowance 98%

Disability Living Allowance 94%

Pension Credit new claims and changes of circumstance 94%

State Pension new claims and changes of circumstance 98%

Average processing time for new claims

Attendance Allowance within 16 days

Carers Allowance within 13 days

Disability Living Allowance within 37.7 days

Pension Credit (from the date evidence received) within 15 days

State Pension to clear 95% of new claims within 60 days

Reduce Fraud and Error in Pension Credit

3.9% by March 2011


At least 93% of calls to be answered first time with less than 1% receiving the engaged tone

The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission's 2010-11 targets are;

Target description2010-11 target level

Number of children benefiting from an arrangement made through the statutory schemes or a private arrangement after contact with the Child Maintenance Options service

950,000 children benefiting

Amount collected or arranged through the statutory maintenance scheme


Maintenance outcomes: the proportion of people with a statutory maintenance liability paying child maintenance


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