HC Deb 28 October 1987 vol 121 cc329-30W
Mr. Cohen

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make a statement on the current status of the Government data network project, including a description of the discussions he has had with the Data Protection Registrar concerning the project.

Mr. Major

Following the shortlisting in March this year, further discussions and demonstrations have taken place with consortia. It is expected that memoranda of agreement will be signed shortly and tenders invited before the end of the year. A final decision on whether or not to proceed will be taken after tenders have been evaluated.

The Paymaster General met the Data Protection Registrar on 8 September and discussed the nature of GDN as a shared physical network facility for data but which will consist of a collection of virtual networks for each of the participating Departments. Further work is continuing on guidance to be offered to Departments about good practice to be adopted before linking to GDN. The Paymaster General and the Data Protection Registrar also discussed how the DPR might carry forward his planned contact with the four participating Departments, which are themselves responsible for the care and ownership of data transferred across the network.

Mr. Cohen

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his Department's policy towards fees for subject access under the terms of the Data Protection Act; how many register entries his Department has; and what would be the total cost to a data subject seeking access to personal data held under all register entries.

Mr. Brooke

The Treasury's policy towards fees for subject access under the Data Protection Act will be to make no charge to employees and ex-employees. For anyone else the charge will be £10.

The Treasury has two registrations under the Act: one for the Chessington computer centre as a bureau, the other for the remainder of the Treasury as a user and a bureau.

The total cost to a data subject for each access request will be £10.