asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the planned development of the operational strategy departmental central index between now and 1990; and if he will list and describe the numbers of on-line computer terminals, including those in offices of the Department of Employment, planned to be attached to such central indexing facilities, in each year to 1990.
A departmental central index is being considered as part of the Department's operational strategy. The requirements for the index are currently being examined and a full study report is being prepared. If a decision to proceed is taken following production of the full study report, the index is planned to come into operation by 1988. The network design envisaged for the operational strategy is such that all terminals within strategy projects would provide the facility for properly authorised staff to access the departmental central index. At present we plan to have the following numbers of terminals, including those in Department of Employment offices: