§ Sir Patrick McNair-Wilson
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the future of the Veterinary Laboratories Agency. 
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
Following the prior options review, the Government have decided that the Veterinary Laboratories Agency should remain an executive agency of MAFF.
The Government have also agreed a number of steps to help improve efficiency on a wide range of research establishments remaining in the public sector. For VLA, we shall be setting targets for increasing competition, enlarging the programme of market testing of non-research and development work and looking at the scope for exchange of areas of work with the Institute for Animal Health. Details of the revised arrangements will be announced in due course. My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade has made a statement today on the broad outcome of the programme of prior options reviews of public sector research establishments, which refers to the general policy on the timing of prior options reviews.