HC Deb 27 November 1989 vol 162 cc429-30
10. Mr. Knox

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on the progress of the social security computerisation programme.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard

The Department's highly complex £1.7 billion strategy for the computerisation of the payment of social security benefits is proceeding as planned. The pilot exercise in 23 local offices has been completed and the systems are being introduced nationally office by office.

Mr. Knox

Is my hon. Friend satisfied that the work is being carried out sufficiently quickly and can she give us any idea when the programme will be implemented?

Mrs. Shephard

My hon. Friend asks about the speed of completion. As one would expect with an operation of this scale, the Department has had some anxiety about teething problems with the introduction of the computerised programme. We are, in fact, proceeding according to programme but because of staff anxieties about some of the problems of introducing specific programmes we are extending the time scale for staff savings to July 1990. Within those limits, the programme is proceeding according to plan.

Mr. Speaker

Question No. 11. Mr. Terry Fields—[Interruption.] Question No. 12. Mr. Michael Stern—

Mr. D. N. Campbell-Savours

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Why was no Opposition Member called to ask a supplementary question to Question No. 10?

Mr. Speaker

Because the hon. Member for Liverpool, Broadgreen (Mr. Fields) was not present. I called Mr. Michael Stern for the next Question.

Mr. Campbell-Savours


Mr. Speaker

I call Mr. Michael Stern. It is now 10 minutes past three.