§ Lord Dean of Beswick
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What plans they have for the Defence Communications Service to become a Defence Agency. [HL1350]
§ The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert)
From 1 April 1998 the Defence Communication Services Agency, DCSA, is established as a Defence Agency. The DCSA will be responsible for the provision of information transfer services to meet defence needs. It will enable the MoD's requirements for national and international information transfer services to be focused on one primary provider. The DCSA's chief executive will be Major General A. J. Raper CBE and its headquarters will be at Corsham, Wiltshire. The agency will employ 899 military and 618 civilian staff at locations in the UK and Germany.
The creation of the Agency will improve defence communications by focusing on the delivery of customer services rather than simply communication systems. It will also offer scope for rationalisation and provide a clear line of accountability for service delivery. The DCSA's aim will be, "To provide its customers with the optimum end to end wide area information services to meet defence needs".
The chief executive has been set the following key targets for the first year of operation:
- 1. To deliver communication services which achieve 100 per cent. of the systems output performance standards specified in the Baseline Service Document.
- 2. To introduce by December 1998 a process for measuring the delivery of information services, assessing their effectiveness by surveying customer satisfaction and to develop the criteria for establishing an output service efficiency baseline in both areas.
- 3. To plan the means of meeting customers' future requirements through the preparation of a Business Development Programme by March 1999.
- 4. To achieve 2 per cent. cost savings through efficiency measures and to seek to improve further the value for money of delivered services through the preparation by March 1999 of a management and efficiency programme which plans for rationalisation and reinvestment following reviews of:
- inherited responsibilities and resources;
- business unit boundaries;
- agency-wide business processes;
- and takes account of the outcome of the Strategic Defence Review.