HC Deb 02 July 1981 vol 7 cc462-3W
Mr. Ian Lloyd

asked the Prime Minister, following the designation of 1982 as Information Technology Year, what steps she is taking to ensure that Government policies on information technology take fully into account the needs of private sector suppliers and users of the relevant products and services.

The Prime Minister

The Government fully recognise the importance of information technology for the future industrial and commercial success of the United Kingdom and the central role that the Government must play in promoting its development and application. Government policies are already directed toward encouraging markets for IT products and services that will stimulate new, profitable business opportunities; and the Government see the effective application of IT as a powerful tool in raising the efficiency and quality of both private and public sector services.

In order to ensure that Government policies and actions are securely based on a close appreciation of market needs and opportunities I am appointing a panel of IT advisers who will be available to advise me and my colleagues on all aspects of IT.

The advisers are:

  • Mr. M. J. Aldrich—Managing Director, Rediffusion Computers Ltd.
  • Mr. I. H. Cohen—Managing Director, Mullard Ltd.
  • Mr. C. A. Davies—Managing Director, Information Technology Ltd.
  • Dr. D. F. Hartley—Director, Cambridge University Computing Services.
  • Mr. C. N. Read—Director, Inter-Bank Research Organisation.Mr. C. G. Southgate—Chief Executive, Computer Service Division, British Oxygen Co. Ltd.

In addition, I have established a small team within the Cabinet Office, made up of both permanent officials and personnel on secondment from the private sector. This unit will be a principal link between the advisers and Departments, will help to promote the use of IT within Government, and will seek to ensure the overall coherence of Government policies towards IT, particularly in so far as they span the responsibilities of more than one Department.

These new arrangements will strengthen and broaden the many existing contacts between my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Industry and the Minister for Industry and Information Technology on the one hand and private commerce and industry on the other and will reinforce the initiatives already taken by them and their officials.

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