§ Dr. Godman
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what key targets were set for the Forensic Science Agency of Northern Ireland in 1997–98; what further plans have been prepared by the Agency; and what arrangements have been made for the publication of this year's plans. 424W
§ Mr. Ingram
The following key targets were set for the Forensic Science Agency of Northern Ireland in 1997–98.Service Provision1. To have satisfied the Royal Ulster Constabulary that their essential needs for forensic science services are being met, through appropriate measurement by survey.Financial Performance2. To recover the full economic costs of the Agency.3. To have service level agreements in place by 1 April 1998 with the Agency's main customers which quantify the volume of service expected, the quality of the service and the estimate of cost.Quality of Service4. To turnaround 97 per cent. of alcohol analyses within 30 days of the job request and all within 40 days throughout the year.5. Based on a maximum intake of 4,250 other cases, to turnaround an average for the year of 42 per cent. within 30 days of the job request and 90 per cent. within 120 days. The target will be modified depending on the intake as shown in the Business Plan.6. Based on an annual intake of 240 cases in which people are remanded in custody, to produce 90 per cent. of reports within 90 days of first remand (or of notification if that happens to be more than 10 days after first remand). The target will be modified depending on the intake as shown in the Business Plan.7. To have reduced the number of cases older than 120 days to 75 at 31 March 1998.Quality of Science8. To have retained accreditation for the named scientific processes whose continued accreditation is justified by the business needs of the Agency.9. To have made formal application for the accreditation of the named scientific processes by 31 March 1998.10. To receive accreditation for the named scientific processes.Human Resources11. By 31 March 1998, the competencies of appropriate staff to carry out the named processes will have been assessed against competence frameworks.Efficiency12. To secure efficiency savings of £40k.13. To have an accurate unit cost for the Agency calculated for the year ending 31 March 1998.Achievement against these key targets will be recorded in the Agency's Annual Report for 1997–98 which will be published as soon as possible.
The Agency has published a summary of its Corporate Plan 1998–2001 and Annual Business Plan 1998–99 which explains its business and organisation, describes its key targets for 1998–98, and sets out the assumptions about workloads and resources which support its planned activities. Copies of the summary plans have been placed in the Library of the Houses. Copies will be available to the public from the Agency.