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Volume 941: debated on Wednesday 14 December 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment to what extent his Department makes use of Giro facilities; what is the estimated annual value of such Giro transactions; and what regular consideration is given to extending the use of Giro.

My Department—including the commissions, executives, services and agencies for which I am responsible—uses Giro facilities whenever these offer the most convenient method of payment or when the payee so requests. Extensive use is made of Girocheques, with a much smaller use of the facility for payment into a Giro account.During the financial year ended 31st March 1977, the Department issued some 2·7 million Girocheques to the value of £66 million. In the current finacial year from April to September 1977, the value of Girocheques issued increased by almost 50 per cent. as compared with the same period in 1976, partly because of the decision to use Girocheques for all payments under the job release scheme.The use of Giro facilities for all appropriate types of payment is kept under constant review and staff in the Department are reminded at regular intervals that they may, on request, have their salaries paid into a Giro account.