§ Mr. David Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement of progress on the millennium readiness of his Department's computer systems, and those for which it is responsible in the provision of public services; if contingency plans are in place; and what slippage has occurred since the July quarterly report to the House. 
§ Mr. Wills
The Department's millennium readiness programme was completed in April 1999. Prior to completion of the programme, all of the Department's 529W systems were subjected to a rigorous testing process. Consequently, there has been no slippage since the July quarterly report to the House.
Where functions delivered by the Department involve the provision of public services, business continuity plans have been developed and tested. In addition to subjecting continuity plans to rigorous testing, each plan, and test results, have been subjected to independent assessment before being agreed.
Similar progress has been made in the Employment Service where the millennium readiness programme was completed in June 1999 with business continuity plans completed and tested in August 1999.
Details of the Department's and the Employment Service's progress in tackling the bug are set out in their quarterly monitoring returns. These are available in the Libraries of the House and are published on the internet. The results of the October monthly review of progress of Government Departments and agencies in tackling the bug are due to be announced shortly by the President of the Council.