§ Mr. Sheerman
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what use he plans to make of the Internet to make Government more open. 
§ Dr. Howells
The Department has a large Internet site which has been progressively developed and extended over the past two years and this will continue. From our new home page we offer signposted information for parents, schools, job seekers and employers. Material is also available on education and training generally and on equal opportunities. Our intention is to extend the site, wherever possible, to ensure that details of all aspects of the Department's policies will be available there.
As the number of people and organisation having access to the Internet increases, the Department plans to make extensive use of it as a medium for consultation on new or planned policy initiatives and to invite and freely exchange views. Later this year, all of the Department's staff will be able to use Internet email to speed communication with outside people and organisations, particularly its "partners" in taking forward improvements in education and training.