HC Deb 25 July 1983 vol 46 cc781-2
23. Mr. Eggar

asked the Minister for the Civil Service how many Departments are currently using MINIS or its equivalent.

The Minister of State, Treasury (Mr. Barney Hayhoe)

All the Departments taking part in the financial management initiative are either using or making good progress in establishing management systems which, like MINIS, provide the information needed to monitor in detail the matching of resources to objectives.

Mr. Eggar

Does my hon. Friend recall that the Select Committee clearly said that it wanted MINIS or equivalent systems introduced into all Departments of State? Is he completely satisfied with the progress that has been made in the past year and a half?

Mr. Hayhoe

My hon. Friend knows that a White Paper on the work of Departments in this regard will be published soon. I assure him that a quiet revolution has been taking place in Whitehall and beyond. The Civil Service is now considerably smaller than in 1979—it numbers fewer than 650,000—and next year it will be the smallest since the second world war. Moreover, Ministers and senior civil servants are more involved in the management of their Departments than ever before. That is leading to cost-effective and sensible management regimes throughout the Civil Service.

Mr. Williams

As access to information raises questions about efficiency and security, will the hon. Gentleman ensure that the House has a statement before the recess on the vetting procedures that will be applied when the Department of Industry announces in September the decision that it has already taken to replace 42 of its security officers with members of a private security firm? Will he explain why that statement will not be made until September, when the House will be in recess?

Mr. Hayhoe

That is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Industry.