§ Mr. Viggers
asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) if he will make a statement on the removal of company files from Companies House in London to Cardiff;
(2) if he will indicate the average period of delay which is currently being caused to persons making personal searches at Companies House in London before a file can be produced;
(3) what number of personal applicants are currently informed at Companies House in London that the file they are seeking cannot be made available on that day;
(4) what is his estimate of the number of files which have been: (a) lost and (b) mislaid during the removal of files from Companies House in London to Cardiff.
§ Mr. Clinton Davis
The first movement of company files, namely, those registered since January 1971, was completed on 4th August. Microfiche records remain available in London. The number involved totalled about one-third of the whole. It is planned to move the next third during late November/December and the operation is due to be completed by end of August 1977. The average time taken to produce records on microfiche is 18 minutes. Original files are usually provided within 30 minutes. No record is kept of the number of requests which cannot be satisfied the same day either because the file is already in use or is in course of being filmed, but every effort is made to produce files within 24 hours. No cases have been reported so far of files having been lost or mislaid whilst in transit from London to Cardiff.