HC Deb 19 April 2000 vol 348 cc521-2W
Mr. Robert Jackson

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will list the services which(a) his Department and (b) the executive agencies responsible to his Department (i) provide online and (ii) expect to be deliverable online by 2002. [119437]

Mr. Lock

So that the Cabinet Office can publish the spring 2000 report monitoring progress towards delivery of all Government services electronically by 2005 we are currently collecting data which will include our progress on delivering 25 per cent. of Government services electronically by 2002. The Lord Chancellor's Department currently provide a range of services electronically that include:

Just Ask!-the Community Legal Service Website.

Just Ask! provides co-ordinated access to several hundred legal information and help websites through its Advice Search feature. The site also features an electronic version of the CLS Directory, to be updated daily, containing over 15,000 entries. The Directory enables users to locate, either locally or nationally, legal service providers that can assist with the query at hand. The site is accessible through many channels. It has been built in accordance with World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) guidelines that ensure websites meet the needs of disabled users. It also features information in Welsh and six community languages (Bengali, Cantonese, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu).

Legal Services Commission (LSC)

The LSC website provides a direct information service to both the citizen and suppliers of legal aid services. Documents for the public and legal services suppliers are included on the website, these are presented with representation of published leaflets, forms and manuals. These can be downloaded by the user and there is provision for e-mail feed back to the editor.

The Court Service

The Court Service has a significant number of business areas where services are delivered electronically. The Claim Production Centre (CPC) receives liquidated default claims in electronic format. The claim data are then electronically transferred from the centre to the court of the issuing party's nomination. Notification of issue is produced and, in most cases, faxed to the issuing party. The County Court Bulk Centre (CCBC) takes the centralised aspect of the CPC and deals with all administration processes after issue of claim. All judgments are entered via electronic means. The Centralised Attachment of Earnings Payment System (CAPS) performs the vast majority of the Civil Court's Suitors' Cash function. It receives attachment of earnings order information electronically from the local court, produces and dispatches the orders to the parties and, more importantly, the employer, and then collects and monitors for payments. The Parking Enforcement Centre (PEC) was established to support business resulting from the Road Traffic Act of 1991 which de-criminalised parking offences. Participating local authorities register any claims where the parking fine has gone unpaid despite the issue of a penalty notice. If there are no objections lodged to the registration, the authority can apply to issue a warrant of execution. All registrations and applications for warrants are sent electronically. Call Centres support the CCBC, CAPS and PEC. They operate generally between 8 am and 5 pm, Monday to Friday and are supported by out of hours messaging. Court Lists (hearing dates and times) are currently provided electronically to some criminal justice organisations and to defence legal practitioners. The Court Service website is used to provide a wide range of services including: Access to over 200 Court of Appeal and High Court judgments (selected by the judges concerned); Access to the daily lists for the whole of the Supreme Court Group and the Crown Court; 233 court forms (which may be completed on screen) are available; 62 information leaflets or particular relevant to court users (including guidance for court users who are deaf or hard of hearing), the professions and small businesses. Eleven of the information leaflets are available in the Welsh language, as is the Court Service Annual Report; An Introduction to the Court Service; and Access to a large number of Related Sites.


Four Tribunals offer web based services, namely: Office of the Social Security and Child Support Commissioners; Immigration Appellate Authority; Special Commissioners of Income Tax; VAT and Duties Tribunal.

The range of services offered spans: explanation of tribunals' functions and standards of service; guidance as to how to appeal and for oral hearings; electronic forms; and catalogued commissioners' decisions.

HM Land Registry (HMLR)

HMLR provides a Direct Access Service which allows its Account Holders to view any computerised register online (95 per cent. of registered stock of some 16 million titles are computerised), lodge official searches, order office copies of the land register, view details of pending applications and provide electronic notification of discharge of charges. From its website, the HMLR also provides an interactive residential property price database providing details of property prices from regional down to postal sector levels. It also provides a forms library, where 44 types of Land Registry applications forms can be downloaded and used free of charge.

The Public Record Office (PRO)

The public can use the internet to consult the catalogues of the PRO's holdings; order documents in advance to be used in the reading rooms at Kew; order books from the PRO's bookshop; obtain estimates for the cost of copies of documents; obtain information about the operations of the Public Record Office, copies of press releases and of some recently released documents; and use the Learning Curve, the PRO's contribution to the National Grid for Learning.