HC Deb 14 December 1993 vol 234 c557W
Sir Ralph Howell

To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the smallest number of separate identification numbers in use by any Government department that a person with a driving licence and a passport can have; and how many persons are employed in the various Departments of state to administer these separate registers, giving the number employed in each case.

The Prime Minister

A person with a driving licence and a passport would have a driver number, a passport number, a national health service number and is likely to have a national insurance number.

Driver numbers are automatically generated by computer when a licence is issued and require no additional staff effort. The Passport Agency employs 32 people at the central records unit at Hayes whose job it is to administer passport records. National insurance numbers are issued in two ways: 70 per cent. are issued centrally by the Department of Social Security in an automated process and the remainder are issued locally. The issuing of a national insurance number and the administration of records are part of the general work of departmental staff. The Office of Population Censuses and Surveys employs 180 staff at the national health service central register in Southport whose duties include administration of national health records as well as other responsibilities.