§ Mr. Brotherton
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what are the activities of the National Committee on Computer Networks; what is its overall cost to public funds; what salary is paid to its director; and what fees are paid to the chairman and members of the committee.
Mr. Alan Williams
The activities of the National Committee on Computer Networks are given in its terms of reference, as followsTo consider the development of computer networks in the light of national economic and social factors with particular reference to:
- —the joint interests of the users, and of hardware and software suppliers;
- —national and international standards;
- —the relationship between private and public networks;
- —collaboration with overseas countries.To provide a forum for discussion between the major parties concerned with computer networks, including Post Office and Government Departments, and to give advice to industry and Government on computer networks.To undertake studies into aspects of computer networks as required, either through the Industry Divisions of the Department of Industry, through the Computers, Systems and Electronics Requirements Board, or directly.To keep the Secretary of State for Industry informed of its activities, publish an annual report and issue public statements as it considers necessary.
The overall cost of the committee to public funds is estimated to be £46,000 per year; the director's salary is £8,650 per year; the chairman is paid a modest daily fee and the members are unpaid.