§ Mr. Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement of progress on the introduction of information technologies to facilitate internal communications in his Department and the provision of information to the public concerning those areas for which he is responsible; and if he has any further plans to apply the newest technologies in these fields.
§ Mr. Parkinson
My Department does not currently use information technology (IT) for internal communications to any great extent. It is moving to a new headquarters building later this year, where a broadband cabling framework is being installed. This is using new technology which will provide internal communications by computer where cost effective.
While IT is widely used by my officials to collate and prepare information for the public, the IT systems do not provide direct public access to information, nor are there any plans to do so. However, my Department has an IT strategy which is approved by top management and which is subject to continual refinement, monitoring and review.