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Information Technology

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the compatibility of the information technology systems operated by the (a) State Veterinary Service, (b) British Cattle Movement Service and (c) Rural Payments Agency. [109843]

The main IT system used by the State Veterinary Service (SVS) to administer their work has been in service for a number of years. When the British Cattle Movement service came into existence, the Cattle Tracing System was set up with links and interfaces to the SVS's system.A major investment in IT improvements is being made at the BCMS. The system will be moved onto a more secure platform and a facility is being developed to provide for the issue of 'statements' to producers showing details of the animals recorded on their holdings.The new computer system being developed for bovine schemes under the RPA Change Programme will provide interfaces to the systems used by the BCMS.Defra is moving forward in a co-ordinated way, using the RPA to lead in the development of Customer and Land registers which will form the basis of Defra-wide information. Care will be taken to ensure interoperability between existing and planned systems.