§ Mr. David Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what contingency plans his Department is making in the event of the failure of computer systems to recognise the year 2000; when he expects them to be in place, and tested; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Straw
All the main business areas in my Department have projects under way in response to the Year 2000 problem. Contingency planning is a key activity for all of them, but the timing of the development of contingency plans will vary depending on factors particular to each project and the computer systems concerned. Priority is being given to business critical systems.
I have asked that contingency plans for my Department should be assessed by the end of August 1998 and that plans for business critical systems should be in place and tested by the end of 1998. Some projects are well ahead of this timetable.