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Central Science Laboratory

Volume 205: debated on Tuesday 10 March 1992

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress has been made towards establishing the central science laboratory as an executive agency; and if he will make a statement.

I am pleased to confirm that the central science laboratory will become an executive agency with effect from 1 April 1992.Cost recovery will provide us with an important means of judging the efficiency of this agency. Additional performance measures relating to the objectives of the agency will also be used to measure operating efficiency and quality of service.The financial and efficiency targets for the central science laboratory for 1992–93 will be:

  • 100 per cent. recovery of full costs;
  • an overall efficiency gain of 2 per cent.;
  • a reduction of 1·5 per cent. in real terms of representative unit costs for services.

The targets for delivery of services by the central science laboratory will be:

  • at least 90 per cent. of work completed to time and within budget;
  • at least 95 per cent. of contracts delivered to the customer's satisfaction.

The central science laboratory will implement during 1992–93 arrangements for the independent assessment of the quality of the scientific work and publications.

The measures of performance for the agency are set out in the framework document, copies of which will be placed in the Library of the House by 1 April.