§ Mr. MacGregor
I have set the following key targets for 1994–95 for the Department of Transport's executive agencies.
The key targets for the Coastguard Agency are to:Discharge my responsibility for maritime search and rescue (SAR), through the agency's own or dedicated assets, by maintaining a 24. hours SAR co-ordinating capability within, and including the coasts and shoreline of, the United Kingdom search and rescue region (UKSRR) and by maintaining a comprehensive radio reception and transmission coverage of the UKSRR which enables SAR co-ordination action for the duration of incidents without interruption or equipment malfunction;Determine through the United Kingdom SAR and local SAR Committees the availability, readiness, capability and responsiveness of SAR resources, to seek agreements with the appropriate controlling authorities for improvements as necessary and to report to me, identifying any improvements, by March 1995;Pursue an SAR prevention strategy through training, patrols, and public relations endeavours, including a safety campaign to be launched by 30 April (costing £25,000) designed to reduce incidents involving sea canoeists;Maintain a fully operational 24 hours channel navigation information service covering the Dover strait traffic separation scheme, in concert with the appropriate French authorities;Discharge my responsibility for the prevention of marine pollution by the maintenance of a national contingency plan, and in particular to test the effectiveness of the plan by undertaking a major exercise and to report to me on the outcome by 31 March 1995, and where appropriate to activate the plan within 30 minutes of an incident and commence action at sea to deal with a spill of dispersible oil within four hours of notification of an incident;Carry out 500 hours of aerial surveillance of the sea area for which the United Kingdom has responsibility, to detect or deter incidents of marine pollution, including illegal discharges from ships;Make a running costs efficiency gain of 3 per cent.; and;Investigate, and report to me by December 1994, on a means of measuring awareness of, and satisfaction with, the services provided by the agency.The key targets for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency are:To meet or better an overall efficiency improvement of 4 per cent.;Deliver 95 per cent. of ordinary driving licence cases to customers within 12 working days of receipt and deliver medical cases within 22 working days of receipt;Deliver 95 per cent. of vocational driving licence cases within 10 working days of receipt and deliver medical cases within 30 working days of receipt;Deliver 95 per cent. of first provisional driving licence cases within 11 working days of receipt;Deliver 95 per cent. of cases involving changes to vehicle registration documents within 13 working days of receipt;Deliver 95 per cent. of registration documents for new vehicles within 13 working days of receipt;Answer 80 per cent. of telephone enquiries within 30 seconds;Deliver answers to 95 per cent. of written enquiries within eight working days of receipt; andComplete successfully 457,000 VED enforcement cases by imposition of penalties and recover through penalties and duty from induced relicensing at least £2.60 for every £1 (full costs) spent by DVLA on VED enforcement.The targets and key tasks for the Highways Agency are to: 382WReport, using existing management information systems, on the agency's internal unit costs for the management and supervision of new construction schemes over £3 million in value, compared to costs in the last three years;Develop an information system for attributing all staff and other costs to the agency's outputs, identifying those attributable to motorways and other trunk roads separately wherever possible, so as to extend the coverage of unit costs beyond the new construction of national schemes, and enable comprehensive targets for reductions in unit costs to be set in future years;Meet the aims and targets enshrined within The Citizen's Charter, The Road User's Charter and the agency's charter standard statement Your Home and Trunk Road Proposals;Develop systems for measuring the performance of the network, including quality of service indicators, and introducing targets for 1995–96;Reach scheme milestones designated with the prioritised roads programme and listed in The National Roads Programme: Summary and Milestones as follows: complete 18 schemes; start works on 22 schemes; and reach 85 per cent. of the other scheme milestones;State in the agency's Annual Report the average time taken to complete schemes that are completed in 1994–95, compared with the performance in recent years, and the average time between milestones for all those schemes that reach milestones in 1994–95, and compare this with previous years' performance;Complete all schemes within the approved scheme brief (that is, on time and to budget) and, with the central Department, devise appropriate performance measures;Monitor, and state in the Annual Report, the benefit-cost ratio for the national roads programme based on the scheme briefs; and agree with the central Department a target level for 1995–96 and following years, below which the average should not fall;Monitor, and state in the annual report, the unit cost of new construction;Carry out up to five post-scheme evaluations as agreed with the central Department;Maintain the trunk road network effectively by planning a programme of capital maintenance to ensure that the target of reducing the percentage of the road network past the critical condition to 7 to 8 per cent. by the year 2000 is achieved and that all bridges on the network are able to carry the full assessment loading for vehicles of 40 tonne maximum gross vehicle weight by the end of 1998, by (in 1994–95): reconstructing 137 nearside lane kilometres (nlks) of trunk road and 40 nlks of motorway; overlaying a further 394 nlks of trunk road and 227 nlks of motorway; assessing the structural capacity of 795 bridges and strengthening 177 bridges; and monitoring, and stating in the annual report, the unit cost of road maintenance;Contribute to the Government's target of reducing road casualties by one third by the year 2000, compared to the annual average for 1981–85;Publish, as part of the agency's annual report, a section reporting its activities to promote road safety, including the accident rate on motorways and trunk roads;Publish as part of the agency's annual report a report on environmental matters; andProduce certified appropriation accounts by August 1995, and unaudited financial statements in an annual report by October 1995.The key targets for the Marine Safety Agency are to:Complete by 30 November the calculations for the phase-in criteria for ro ro passenger ferries built before 1990 and implement the first stage of the North West European ro ro passenger stability agreement and the related United Kingdom regulations by 30 November 1994;Submit to me an interim report by 31 October 1994 reviewing the fishing vessel safety provisions legislation including the progress made, in consultation with the industry, towards a fishing vessel safety code of practice for vessels under 12 metres in length;Complete by 31 March 1995 technical negotiations within the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to secure amendments to chapter one (general provisions) and for the introduction of mandatory ships' routing and reporting under chapter V (safety of navigation) of the safety of life at sea 383W convention, including the drafting of any statutory instruments to give effect to the adopted amendments in United Kingdom law;Provide technical input to the European Community (EC) negotiations on the proposed directives dealing with convergent application of IMO rules and resolutions and specifically on segregated ballast tanks, ship safety equipment, transit and access in EC waters, and standards for vessels not covered by the safety of life at sea convention;Establish by 31 March 1995 mechanisms to allow the delegation of further survey and certification work to the private sector and the arrangements for its audit; and to audit by 31 March 1995 two organisations already authorised to undertake survey and certification work;Undertake port state control inspections, including operational aspects, of 30 per cent. of the foreign flagged vessels using United Kingdom ports;Achieve a running-costs efficiency gain of 3 per cent.; andAs part of a two year programme of deregulation, produce proposals by 31 December 1994 for a first round of revocations of regulations.The key targets for the Transport Research Laboratory are to:Cover full costs with income from customers while meeting the net control total in the 1994–95 Supply Estimates;Ensure direct fee-earning costs as a percentage of total operating costs are greater than 57 per cent.;Achieve average staff utilisation in research resource centres of at least 1300 hours per year on direct fee-earning work; andEnsure that at least 94 per cent. of completed projects assessed by customers are rated as satisfactory or betterThe key targets for the Vehicle Certification Agency are to:Issue 90 per cent. of whole vehicle and system and component certificates by dates agreed with customers;Ensure that at least 98 per cent. of certificates issued are free of errors caused by the agency and where errors do occur to issue corrected documents within three working days in 75 per cent. of cases;Audit at least 50 per cent. of the agency's approved quality procedures and to achieve a satisfactory appraisal report on technical performance from my Department's chief mechanical engineer;Achieve, or better, a net output unit cost of £71.29;Achieve a Treasury accounts direction for the agency's 1994–95 accounts;Implement a new data system for job and product line costing;Deliver legislation, enforcement and information programmes required by the Department to timetables and within budget; andDevelop a model contract for the provision of testing services by agents and to begin a trial of that contract with at least one agent.The key targets for the Vehicle Inspectorate trading fund are to:Achieve an efficiency improvement of 5 per cent. as measured by the agency's aggregate cost efficiency index;Break even while achieving a 6 per cent. real rate of return on capital employed;Achieve an HGV/PSV test exemption rate of less than 0.01 per cent.;Achieve an HGV/PSV test error rate of less than 0.47 per cent.;Achieve a roadworthiness prohibition error rate of 0.5 per cent.;Return 95 per cent. of maintenance assessments for "O" licence renewals and variations within six weeks and 99 per cent. within 12 weeks;Decide 99 per cent. of all MOT statutory appeals against refusal to issue test certificates within five working days;Produce 95 per cent. of Traffic Commissioners reports within four weeks unless another deadline has been agreed, and to produce 95 per cent. within the agreed deadline;Examine a minimum of 1.4 million HGV and 145,000 PSV tachograph charts;Weigh a minimum of 115,000 goods vehicles; and384WHave at least 90 per cent. of weighbridge equipment available nationally.With regard to key targets for the Driving Standards Agency, I refer my hon. Friend to the reply my hon. Friend the Minister for Roads and Traffic gave on 12 April 1994 at column 83.
These targets are set out in the agencies' business plans which also include management objectives and performance indicators, where appropriate to the agencies' business. Copies of the business plans of the Coastguard Agency, Highways Agency, Marine Safety Agency and Vehicle Certification Agency have been placed in the Library of the House. The business plans of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and the vehicle inspectorate will be placed in the Library shortly. The business plan of the Transport Research Laboratory is commercially confidential.