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Computer Services

Volume 130: debated on Thursday 31 March 1988

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the computer services of (a) the Department of Health and Social Security, (b) the Inland Revenue, (c) the Home Department or (d) Her Majesty's Customs and Excise are to be contracted out.

obtaining alternative tenders, to take advantage of their knowledge of the companies where this was expected to give rise to worthwhile savings in terms of time and costs. In each case a competitive rate was negotiated.

Estimates are given in the table. The first two columns analyse tax units by the gains in 1988–89 due to the proposed increases in the age allowances and, where appropriate, the main personal allowances. The final two columns analyse tax units by the gains in 1988–89 due to all the reductions in rates of tax and increases in allowances proposed in the Budget. Estimates are based on a projection of the 1985–86 Survey of Personal Income and are provisional.

Her Majesty's Customs and Excise announced recently that the Department's proposed new entry processing system (CHIEF) would, subject to satisfactory contractual negotiations, be developed and operated by British Telecom Applied Technology. This company already runs the existing departmental entry processing system (DEPS).Apart from this, and the use of IT consultancy services for specific functions, the Department has no present plans to contract out its computer services.The Inland Revenue has for several years made extensive use of the private sector in supporting its computer services and will continue to do so, but there are no plans to contract out any computer services functions.Responsibility for computer services in the Department of Health and Social Security is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services and in the Home Office the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary.