HC Deb 07 April 2000 vol 347 cc640-1W
Mr. Heald

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consultancy contracts the Smith Group has entered into with his Department since May 1997. [116775]

Mr. Charles Clarke

[pursuant to the reply, 30 March 2000, c. 215–16W]: The Smith Group is reporting to the Home Office on a consultancy study to examine the technical and costs implications of interception at Internet Service Providers. The Smith Group is also reporting to the Home Office on some technical aspects of the proposed Government Technical Assistance Centre which will be responsible for complex processing (including decryption) of intercept produce. However, these consultancy studies are not funded by the Home Office. The costs are being met by the intercepting agencies using a joint budget for the strategic development of the interception capability.