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Volume 84: debated on Wednesday 30 October 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement about the progress of his Department's planned computerisation of individual files.

A substantial proportion of DHSS records are already held centrally on computers, including for example national insurance contribution records, retirement pension records, child benefit records and, on behalf of the Department of Employment, unemployment benefit records. Progress on our plans to redevelop these computer systems and extend computer support to DHSS local offices was set out earlier this year in Chapter 6 of the second volume of the Green Paper on reform of social security, "Programme for Change" (Cmnd. 9517). My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on 11 September the decision to invite ICL to tender for computers to be used on the prototype for the local office project, the largest single project in the computerisation strategy.