§ Mr. Linton
To ask the Chairman of the Information Committee if he will make a statement on arrangements for the introduction of a new e-mail system in the House. 
§ Mr. Allan
As part of the Parliament-wide Information Technology Convergence Programme, which has been endorsed by the Information Committee, all personal computers linked to the PDVN are being converted to a new e-mail system, Microsoft Exchange and Outlook 98. Some older computers linked to the PDVN will need to be upgraded or replaced if they are to continue to use the parliamentary e-mail system. The old e-mail system, Groupwise, will be closed down on 16 November 1999, prior to the beginning of the next Session on 17 November.588W
The Parliamentary Communications Directorate (PCD) has sent to all Members and their staff information about the computer specifications required to run the new e-mail system and can advise Members and their staff about new central purchasing arrangements through which Members may purchase new equipment which meets those specifications. Members whose staff are linked to the PDVN from their constituencies are being sent a disc and information about remote conversion to use Outlook. Members and their staff based in the parliamentary precincts whose computers have not yet been converted to Outlook can arrange a date for their conversion and for a short training course by contacting PCD on extension 0899. Courses are being arranged for each weekday in October and November.