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Marine Fisheries Agency

Volume 478: debated on Monday 23 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had on the career development of staff of the coastal offices of the Marine and Fisheries Agency following the entry into force of the proposed Marine Bill. (212013)

Responsibility for career development in the Marine and Fisheries Agency rests with the chief executive, his management team and individual staff members. They will be considering issues relating to career development and training as part of the continued development of the agency, mindful of the Marine Bill and the agency's probable transition to a Marine Management Organisation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what estimate he made of the cost of reforming the Marine and Fisheries Agency to meet the policy objectives set out in the draft Marine Bill; (212008)

(2) what estimate he has made of the cost of establishing the Marine Management Organisation as a non-departmental public body.

The proposed Marine Management Organisation (MMO) will be an executive non-departmental public body (NDPB) charged with making the sustainable development of the marine area a reality.

The MMO will be built on the Marine and Fisheries Agency (MFA) and where practicable we are transferring functions to the MFA in advance of the establishment of the MMO. I am keen to achieve a smooth transition from the Marine and Fisheries Agency to the Marine Management Organisation, and to start work towards the new organisation in good time. A budget of £1 million has been allocated to support the continued development of the Marine and Fisheries Agency in 2008-09, mindful of its probable transition to the MMO. This work is not dependent on the parliamentary process.

Indicative one-off set-up costs for establishing the MMO as an NDPB have been included in the Draft Marine Bill Impact Assessment which was published on 3 April 2008.