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"Next Steps"

Volume 205: debated on Friday 13 March 1992

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To ask the Minister for the Civil Service if he will make a statement on progress in the "next steps" initiative.

Progress is good. During April we expect the total of agencies launched to grow to 72. About 290,000 civil servants, half the total, will be working in agencies and other organisations operating on "next steps" lines. In addition, 27 candidates have been announced covering over 65,000 more civil servants. Many other areas are under consideration. As Cm 1760—"Improving Management in Government—the Next Steps Agencies, Review 1991"—shows, "next steps" is delivering benefits for customers, staff and taxpayers.

The list of agencies established or to he established during April 1992 is:
Accounts Services Agency90
ADAS Agency22,500
Building Research Establishment700
Cadw (Welsh Historic Monuments)230
Central Office of Information3670
Central Science Laboratory2370
Central Statistical Office1,090
Central Veterinary Laboratory590
Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment4600
Civil Service College230
Companies House31,070
Compensation Agency2 5150
Defence Research Agency12,150
Directorate General of Defence Accounts42,130
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency4,580
Driver and Vehicle Testing Agency2 5250
Driving Standards Agency2,080
Duke of York's Royal Military School2100
Employment Service38,400
Fire Service College2 3160
Forensic Science Service600



Historic Royal Palaces330
Historic Scotland630
Hydrographic Office4860
Insolvency Service1,470
Intervention Board980
Laboratory of the Government Chemist340
Land Registry9,800
Medicines Control Agency300
Meteorological Office2,390
Military Survey41,300
National Engineering Laboratory390
National Physical Laboratory830
National Weights and Measures Laboratory50
Natural Resources Institute440
Naval Aircraft Repair Organisation2 41,510
NHS Estates120
Occupational Health Service100
Ordnance Survey2,380
Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland2 5210
Patent Office31,080
Planning Inspectorate2630
Public Record Office2440
Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre60
Queen Victoria School260
Radiocommunications Agency520
RAF Maintenance413,300
Rate Collection Agency5270
Recruitment and Assessment Services Agency240
Registers of Scotland1,280
Royal Mint31,020
Scottish Agricultural Science Agency2140
Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency210
Service Children's Schools (North West Europe)42,300
Social Security Agency55,350
Social Security Benefits Agency63,100
Social Security Contributions Agency8,000
Social Security Information Technology Services Agency4,000
Social Security Resettlement Agency520
Teachers' Pensions Agency2300
The Buying Agency5110
Training and Employment Agency1,670
Transport Research Laboratory2580
United Kingdom Passport Agency1,250
Valuation Office5,200
Vehicle Certification Agency80
Vehicle Inspectorate31,820
Veterinary Medicines Directorate80
Warren Spring Laboratory310
Wilton Park Conference Centre30
72 in number210,960
Customs and Excise6 (30 executive units)26,800
Inland Revenue6 (34 executive offices)62,100
Number of civil servants in the above total8290,490

The list of candidates for agency status announced by Ministers is as follows:



Army Logistics912,700
Chessington Computer Centre440
Child Support Agency5 10see note
Common Services Division91,700
Defence Animal Centre9150
Defence Operational Analysis Establishment9180
Defence Postal Courier Service9600
Defence Statistics Organisation9150
Directorate Information Technology Bureau Services9120
Equipment Test and Evaluation92,220
Fuel Suppliers Branch20
Her Majesty's Prison Service34,900



Human Factors Research9390
Meat Hygiene Service11see note
Ministry of Defence Police94,550
Naval Training95,040
Office of Population Censuses and Surveys2,150
Pesticide Safety Directorate150
Property Division120
Property Holdings Portfolio Management460
Royal Air Force Training911,200
Royal Parks580
Scottish Office Superannuation160
Scottish Prison Service4,100
Social Security Child Support Agency12see note
Valuation and Lands Office5350
Youth Treatment Service220
TOTAL (27 in number)782,650
Number of civil servants in the above total866,320

1 1 October 1991 figures for civil servants and armed forces personnel. Casuals are excluded. Part-time staff are counted as half units.

2 Expected to be launched in April 1992.

3 Trading fund.

4 Defence Support Agency.

5 Northern Ireland civil service.

6 Departments operating fully on "next steps" lines. Staffing figures for Inland Revenue exclude the Valuation Office, which is a free-standing agency.

7 Figure for total staff in agencies includes 8,070 armed forces personnel in Ministry of Defence agencies and 1,300 locally engaged staff in service children's schools (north-west Europe). Figure for total staff in candidates includes 16,330 armed forces personnel in Ministry of Defence candidates.

8 Includes in the totals 7,900 staff in agencies and 350 staff in candidates in the Northern Ireland civil service.

9 May be launched as a Defence Support Agency.

10 Estimated to require 550 staff by April 1993. Of these 120 will come from the Northern Ireland Social Security Agency.

11 Estimated to require 1,800 staff, drawn from a variety of sources.

12 From early 1993 the agency is estimated to require 4,500 staff, 1,500 of which will come from the Social Security Benefits Agency.

To ask the Minister for the Civil Service how many chief executives of "next steps" agencies have been recruited following open competition.

The Government's objective in appointing agency chief executives is to get the right person for the job. Open competition is now the norm, and about two thirds of chief executives and chief executives-designate —47 out of 74—have been recruited in this way.