§ Mr. Wallace
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the cost to(a) his Department, (b) the National Health Service in Scotland and (c) local authorities in Scotland of the steps required to deal with the millennium date problem for computers; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Dewar
[holding answer 9 December 1997]My Department and the National Health Service in Scotland are continuing to assess in detail the likely costs of dealing with the millennium date problem. Appropriate programmes of action are underway. My Department is submitting regular progress reports to the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA). It is expected that the cost of Year 2000 preventive and remedial action will be met within existing planned financial provisions. Action by local authorities is a matter for themselves as independent corporate bodies. However, my Department has taken action to ensure that local authorities are aware of action needed to address the problem, including the commissioning and distribution in May 1997 of a consultancy report containing a suggested action plan.