HC Deb 11 March 1999 vol 327 cc329-30W
Mr. Beith

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his Department carried out a feasibility study before it agreed the contract for an integrated immigration caseworking system; and if he will make a statement. [75741]

Mr. Mike O'Brien

The need for an integrated Information Technology system in the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) was originally identified in an independent study carried out by Sema Group in 1994, which recommended a programme of computerisation to achieve productivity improvements. During the competition for the contract IND received confirmation of this assessment from each of the three shortlisted service providers, working on-site with full access to officials at all levels. Siemens Business Services proposed the extensive use of electronic imaging of documents. The technical feasibility of achieving this was established by visits to reference sites where such systems were already in use.