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Marine Management Organisation

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 10 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment has been made of the effect on the Marine Management Organisation’s operations of relocating its headquarters outside London. (241135)

A significant part of the operational work undertaken by Marine Fisheries Agency (MFA) HQ is to meet EU obligations, and the effective transition provided by the skeleton body will help avoid the possibility of infraction if the organisation is unable to meet these requirements. A Marine Management Organisation (MMO) skeleton body will be set up to start running from autumn 2009 to run in parallel with the MFA until 31 March 2010 to mitigate any risks arising as a result of relocating.

To ensure there is no loss in knowledge and skills from the MFA between now and autumn 2009, I will be announcing a decision on the MMO HQ’s location as soon as possible. This is to ensure that existing staff work closely with both the MFA’s senior management team and the MMO implementation team to capture knowledge and pass it to MMO staff who will begin to populate the skeleton body.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many new jobs there will be for local people in each of the new locations of the Marine Management Organisation; and how much each such job will cost to create as a proportion of the total costs of the move. (241138)

Until existing Marine and Fisheries Agency staff have had the opportunity to choose whether or not to relocate, it is not possible to say how many new jobs there might be.

When it is clearer how many staff will relocate and, therefore, how many new people will need to be recruited, my officials will be able to start a recruitment exercise. In order to attract the best possible pool of talent for the Marine Management Organisation, this will not necessarily be restricted to recruiting locally.

For these reasons, it is not possible to say how many new jobs there will be for local people and hence, relate this to the costs of the move.