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30 Apr 1996 : Column WA129

Written Answers

Tuesday, 30th April 1996.

Rwanda: Genocide Investigation

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they agree with Justice Goldstone, who said at a meeting held under the auspices of the US delegation to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva to discuss "Genocide: Its Prevention and Prosecution" on Wednesday 17th April 1996, that with 24 investigators, the Rwanda tribunal has a hopeless task, and that if it was 124, it would still be inadequate; and if they will therefore call for the number of investigators to be increased to at least 100, the additional cost being funded by a small percentage cut in the salaries of all United Nations staff.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): We are sympathetic to the problems that face the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. However, we do not believe that redeploying resources at the expense of staff is likely to be acceptable to the General Assembly, which decides conditions of services in the UN.

Israel's Attack on Iraqi Nuclear Installation

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they considered at the time, and still consider, that the Israeli attack on the Iraqi nuclear plant in 1981 was unlawful.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The United Kingdom voted for UN Security Council Resolution 487, which condemned the Israeli attack on the Iraqi nuclear installation at Osiraq.

Israel: Nuclear Activities

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they still have no information about Israeli nuclear weapons.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We remain concerned about reports that Israel may have a nuclear weapons programme. We continue to urge Israel to allay international suspicions about her nuclear activities by acceding to the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear-weapon State.

Chemical Weapons: Destruction

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    whether the Chemical Weapons Convention envisages the unilateral destruction, by signatories of

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    the convention or by others, of facilities that through their own national technical means they deem may be intended for the production of chemical weapons, and if not, whether they will discuss with the United States its reported threats to "take out" the site (International Herald Tribune, 20th April 1996).

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) requires each State Party to close all chemical weapons production facilities on its territory within 90 days of entry into force, and destroy all such facilities within 10 years.

The CWC will enter into force six months after 65 countries ratify. Libya is not a signatory. The convention does not directly address the matter of chemical weapons production facilities in non-States Parties.

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the United States has registered with the appropriate international body its suspicions that the site the Libyan Government claims is part of its Great Man Made River Project (ME/2591 MED/30) is in fact intended as a chemical weapons production facility, and if so, what steps is that body (or any other, until the Chemical Weapons Convention comes into force) proposing to take to establish the truth of the matter.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We are not aware of action by the United States to involve any international body in the investigation of this site.

Agency Performance Targets

Lord Windlesham asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are the key performance targets for the Court Service. Her Majesty's Land Registry, the Public Record Office and the Public Trust Office executive agencies for 1996-97.

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Mackay of Clashfern): The following tables set out the key performance targets that I have set for the Court Service, Her Majesty's Land Registry, the Public Record Office and Public Trust Office for 1996-97.

Court Service Key Performance Targets 1996-97

Indicator Target
Quality of Service:
1. Percentage of courts and offices meeting all Charter for Court Users standards 95%
Supreme Court:
2. Percentage of administrative process dealt with within target time 95%
Crown Court:
3. Percentage of defendants committed for trial waiting 16 weeks or less 75%
County courts:
4. Percentage of administrative process dealt with within target time 92%
Enforcement:
5. Number of warrants paid as a percentage of correctly directed warrants 70%
Unit costs:
6. Unit cost of a productive courtroom hour (Crown Court) £522.55
7. Unit cost of an hour of administrative work as measured by the Business Management System (county courts) £49.92
Cost recovery:
8. Percentage of the costs of civil courts recovered 86%

Note: Fuller details of the agency's targets are given in its business plan, which is available from the Court Service HQ.


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Her Majesty's Land Registry Executive Agency Key performance targets 1996-97

IndicatorTarget
Financial
Return on average capital employed (ROCE):3 per cent.
External financing limit:£0
Efficiency
Cost per unit in real terms:£27.84 (3 per cent. reduction over the 1995-96 target of £28.70)
Cost per unit in cash terms:£30.82
Productivity
Unit output per post (per day):3.34 units (4.1 per cent. increase over the 1995-96 target of 3.202 units)
Citizen's Charter Standards
Percentage of pre-completion applications handled in two working days at every district land registry:Not less than 98 per cent.
Average processing time for post-completion applications at every district land registry:Where no requisitions arise, no more than 15 working days
Percentage of registrations handled free of error at every district land registry:Not less than 98.50 per cent.
Development of Land Registration
Number of computerised titles:To increase the number of registered titles in computerised format to 14 million
Number of title plans:To increase the number of title plans in computerised format to 0.3 million
Number of account holders using direct computer access at end of year:400 account holders

ROCE below 6 per cent. reflects agreement with HM Treasury to apply surplus income generated in 1993-94 (when ROCE exceeded 25 per cent. in each year) to fee reductions in 1996-99.

The real term unit cost in the base year of 1992-93 was £30.65.

Note:

Fuller details of the registry's performance targets are given in its business plan, which is available from Her Majesty's Land Registry.


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Public Record Office Key Performance Targets 1996-97

IndicatorTarget
1. Efficiency
Unit costs of key activities:
(a) record accessionsReduce by 3.4 per cent. to £2.99
(b) providing record storage space per linear metreReduce by 14.6 per cent. to £60.70
(c) making documents available to users per documentReduce by 0.9 per cent. to £5.99
(d) providing Census reader services per reader visitReduce by 4.86 per cent. to £4.03
(e) providing document reader services per reader visitLimit increase to 7.01 per cent., i.e. to £41.54
(f) providing remote user information services per contactReduce by 3.79 per cent. to £42.20
Backlog of records reported by departments as being over 30 years old and awaiting reviewReduce by 1,000 metres
The timely destruction of records not worthy of preservationDepartments to have in place key features of records management, as specified in the PRO Manual of Records Administration
Provision of acceptable storage conditions, i.e. meeting the preservation and environmental standards recommended by BS 5454: 1989 Recommendations for storage and exhibition of archival documents (BSI, 1989)Increase the proportion of records stored to the standards from 87.75 per cent. to 87.85 per cent.
Management efficiency in running support services and projectsReduce the running costs of the Office's support services as a proportion of overall running costs from 11.2 per cent. to 9.8 per cent.
2. Quality of service
Citizen's Charter StandardsAchieve all Charter Standard targets(1)
3. Effectiveness
Performance in achieving specified milestones towards strategic objectives(i) complete new Public Record Office project at Kew (ii) review operation of the public records system (iii) increase revenue by 10 per cent.

(1) Subject to specified modifications during period of major building works and moves of records.

Note:

Fuller details of the office's targets are given in its business plan, which is available from the Public Record Office.


Public Trust Office Executive Agency Key Performance Targets 1996-97

IndicatorTarget
1. To carry out accounting transactions within target timesTo bring to account at least 98 per cent. of receipts and payments transactions within turnaround targets
2. To achieve investment targets(a) to pay annually not less than the rate provided by the average of a model set of comparators for special and basic rate at 75 per cent. of special rate. (b) on an annual basis to ensure that 85 per cent. of all measured funds perform in line or better than their model based on stock market indices (c) on a three year rolling basis to ensure that 80 per cent. of all measured funds perform in line or better than their model based on stock market indices
3. To achieve Charter StandardsTo achieve 98 per cent. of Charter Standards
4. To achieve unit costs in activity areasTo reduce overall unit costs so that the target for 1996/97 will be at least 2.75 per cent. lower than the target for 1995/96 (adjusted for inflation)
5. Percentage of full costs recoveredTo ensure that 100 per cent. of full costs are recovered.

Note:

Fuller details of the office's performance targets are given in its business plan, which is available from the Public Trust Office.


30 Apr 1996 : Column WA133


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