I am pleased to announce the broad objectives and specific ministerial targets for the Maritime Coastguard Agency for 2008-09. These are:
Safety Objective—Through accident prevention and effective search and rescue co-ordination and response, improve the safety of ships and people at sea and at the coast.
Performance under this objective will be measured against the following ministerial delivery targets:
MT1. Conduct operational standards and training audits and secure year-on-year improvements in the average scores covering both exercise and individual assessment elements to maintain the quality of maritime emergency co-ordination and response by the Coastguard.
MT2. Helicopters tasked to respond to incidents will be airborne within 15 minutes during daylight hours and 45 minutes at night in at least 98 per cent. of cases.
MT3. Meet the internationally required target to inspect 25 per cent. of foreign vessels in UK ports under PSC arrangements, with an increasing emphasis on inspecting available ships judged to be high risk.
MT4. Maintain the quality of the UK ship register by reducing the level of deficiencies recorded on UK ships inspected abroad, and maintain a position on the Paris MOU white list which is comparable to registers of a similar size and reputation.
MT5. As a category 1 responder, continue to meet the provisions of the Civil Contingencies Act including increased engagement with Local Resilience Fora.
Under this objective the MCA will also take forward a three year programme of work in the following areas:
Seafarer Fatigue—working with the shipping industry and seafarer unions on a coherent strategy to reduce seafarer fatigue.
Fishing Vessels—working with the fishing industry to improve the safety of small fishing vessels (under 15m).
Lifejackets— working with the agency’s partner organisations (including the Royal National Lifeboat Institute and the Royal Yachting Association), to promote the wearing of lifejackets within the leisure sector.
Environment Objective—Through our monitoring of ships and response to pollution incidents protect the marine environment.
Performance under this objective will be measured against the following ministerial delivery target:
MT6— Respond promptly to potential and actual pollution from ships around the UK coast, drawing effectively on resources including our emergency tugs, and following the procedures set out in the National Contingency Plan.
Under this objective the MCA will also take forward a three-year programme of work covering:
Vessel Traffic Management—Identifying the future requirements of sea space management and the role the agency may perform.
Beyond these objectives and targets are the agency’s service standards and measured outcomes. Together these measures cover all aspects of the agency’s work and provide continual assurance about the quality of our performance.
The agency will also continue to monitor its performance through a range of service standards and measured outcomes which will be reported in its published annual report and accounts.