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Children: Databases

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 10 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families with reference to the Answer of 8 October 2008, Official Report, column 474W, on children: databases, which usability issues his Department is resolving before the ContactPoint system is user tested. (252077)

ContactPoint is designed to save time for professionals working with children, therefore ensuring smooth working for users is very important.

The purpose of testing is to uncover issues and deal with them before deployment. We discovered a number of issues that we wanted to rectify before commencing the final stages of testing with users. They were typical for this stage of project delivery and included minor functional changes and enhancements to screens. If not rectified, these issues can cause frustration to those involved in testing activity and can restrict the benefit that the activity can provide.

We have always said that we will take the time to get ContactPoint right. We wanted to ensure that testing provided the maximum benefit possible and therefore took the decision to fix these issues before commencing testing with users on 13 October 2008. The user testing phase completed successfully on 28 November 2008.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 28 January, Official Report, columns 648-9W, on children: databases, if he plans to make the monthly assessments of early adopter local authorities public. (255624)

[holding answer 9 February 2009]: The monthly assessments are undertaken by local authorities and are project documents internal to the local authorities themselves. Local authorities provide the information to the Department on the basis that it will be used to enable the Department to assess progress, provide targeted support where necessary and to share good practice. It is not collected for the purpose of publication. The assessments are not intended or designed for publication.