§ Mr. Woodall
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will provide information on the current uses of computers within his Department and plans for their further introduction and extension.
§ Mr. Newton
Computers are used in DHSS for the following major tasks:
- Maintainance of National Insurance Contribution records.
- Payment of Pensions and Child Benefit.
- Payroll for the Department.
- Information processing for statistical and economic purposes.
- Payment of Unemployment Benefit and associated Supplementary Benefit.
- NHS Supperannuation record maintenance and payments.
- War Pensions records and payments.
- Family Income Supplement, Attendance Allowance, Mobility Allowance indexes and benefit payments.
- Local Authority Housing Benefit funds.
Other Work carried out on computers includes:
- Computer aids to health building
- Operational research
- Library applications
- Communication of contribution information to local offices from central records in Newcastle.
- Evalution trials of new Technology for Ministers' Officers support, management support and certain local offices procedures.
- Finance and Personnel functions using microcomputers.
The proposals for computerising social security operations over the next 10 to 15 years were published last autumn in a consultative document "Social Security Operational Strategy; A Framework for the Future", a copy of which is available in the Library. We are considering the way ahead in the light of comments received.