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Forensic Science Service: Chorley

Volume 494: debated on Friday 19 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 8 June 2009, Official Report, columns 21-22WS, on the Forensic Science Service, what assessment he has made of the effect of the proposed restructuring of the Forensic Science Service on employees of the service based in Chorley; and what arrangements he plans to make to retain the skills of employees at the service’s laboratory in Chorley. (281135)

[holding answer 18 June 2009]: All proposals relating to the restructuring of the Forensic Science Service (FSS) are subject to collective consultation with staff and staff representatives which was launched on 8 June 2009. It must be emphasised that no decisions have been made at this stage, however scientific excellence will remain at the centre of all the FSS and there are no circumstances under which the FSS would consider jeopardising the quality standards and scientific integrity that lie at the heart of organisation.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 8 June 2009, Official Report, columns 21-22WS, on the Forensic Science Service, what account this proposed restructuring of the Forensic Science Service has taken of the relationship between forensic science research at the University of Central Lancashire and the activities of the service (a) in Chorley and (b) elsewhere; what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the proposed restructuring on recruitment to the service from the University of Central Lancashire; and if he will publish the approved business plan for the proposed restructuring. (281137)

[holding answer 18 June 2009]: The University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLAN) forensic science research team does not conduct any research on behalf of the Forensic Science Service (FSS). In recent months, the FSS and UCLAN have started to discuss the potential opportunity for the FSS to offer student placements. However, these discussions are in their early stages and no formal arrangements have been made at this point in time.

There are no plans to publish the Forensic Science Service Business Plan on the grounds of commercial sensitivity.