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National Measurement Office

Volume 579: debated on Monday 28 April 2014

I have tasked the National Measurement Office (NMO) to provide policy support to Ministers on measurement issues and a measurement infrastructure which enables innovation and growth, promotes trade and facilitates fair competition and the protection of consumers, health and the environment.

I have agreed with the NMO that their objectives for 2014-16 will be to:

Increase economic growth, innovation and social impact through a world-class scientific and industrial measurement infrastructure;

Promote competition and fair trading both in the UK and internationally through a modern weights and measures and hallmarking regime;

Provide good value-for-money metrology services;

Protect the interests of the public, business and the environment by enforcing relevant legislation.

The agency will also be expected to provide professional, value for money, corporate services.

The performance targets I have set the agency are as follows:

Implement arrangements for National Physical Laboratory (NPL) post-March 2014 and agree the partners who will work with Government on NPL and the model under which the partnership will realise the stated policy objective of strengthening both fundamental research and engagement with business;

Improve performance of the National Measurement System (NMS) programmes over the corporate plan period 2011-12 to 2014-15 as measured by the value scorecard developed to reflect high-quality science, leadership and international influence, contribution to growth in the UK economy, capability to meet current and future measurement needs and active knowledge transfer;

Reduce NPL energy consumption in 2014 calendar year by 5% from 2013 calendar year to increase the efficiency of science spend;

Support stakeholders by ensuring at least 95% of metering enquiries are answered within three business days of receipt of all necessary documentation;

Achieve a satisfaction rating among certification service customers of at least 95% for customers scoring satisfied or above, with at least 60% scoring “very satisfied”.

Achieve an increase in income of at least 5% for certification services from the 2013-14 financial year;

Generate at least a positive 3:1 net contribution to consumers and the environment as well as the low-carbon economy through the activities of the enforcement authority;

Reduce non ring-fenced admin costs by at least 14% in cash terms over the corporate plan period 2011-12 to 2014-15;

Reduce the per capita overhead rate from 2013-14.