HC Deb 19 April 2000 vol 348 cc582-6W
Mr. Robert Jackson

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer 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. [119434]

Dawn Primarolo

So that the Cabinet Office can published 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. I do not want to pre-empt that report, but I can say that we currently provide a range of services electronically that include:

Customs and Excise

  1. (i) The following services are currently available electronically online (by Electronic Data Interchange—EDI)
Customs Exports and Imports declarations Intrastat declarations VAT EC Sales Listing declarations Also available now, in the internet, are: provision of departmental information via our website Intrastat declarations VAT return pilot (2,000 traders)
  1. (ii) The following services are planned to be available online on the internet by 2002: VAT return (full operation starting with 100,000 traders in January 2001)
VAT registration VAT EC Sales listings Climate Change Levy Insurance Premium Tax Customs (Third Country exports) declarations Beer, wine, cider duty Tobacco Products duty

Government Actuary's Department (GAD)

  1. (i) The following services are currently available online and via the GAD website
    1. I. Public access to GAD staff via external e-mail and for correspondence to clients.
    2. II. Population Projections (1998)
    3. III. Command Documents and Publications written by Government Actuary staff
    4. IV. Portal to other Government Departments via open.gov.uk
    5. V. Recruitment Details
    6. VI. Contacts and Organisational Structure of GAD
    • Press Releases
  1. (ii) The following services are planned to be available online via the Internet by 2002
Public access to Annual Report and Public Service Agreement Public Sector Pension Services Catalogue International Services Catalogue Proforma Passport for contracting out of services Best Practice Guidance Marital Conditions Projections and Annual Life Tables Desktop Internet Access for all staff Remote e-mail access for all staff Further Population Projections (2000 and 2002) GAD Vacancy Notices and online application The provision of bespoke Actuarial calculation software to clients (e-commerce) is currently under investigation.

Royal Mint The Royal Mint has a website for its collector coin customers. In addition, and if you wish to expand, the following website facilities are offered:

  1. (i) Current online facilities
Online ordering Forum Facility (an open contributory facility relating to coinage) Corporate information provision (history, annual report etc.) Museum (information on the current museum collection) General circulation coinage statistics Chat facility (opportunity to talk to members of the Royal Mint and other coin enthusiasts) Monthly competitions e-mail based inquiry facility (order, product information etc.) Contact via e-mail
  1. (ii) Expecting to be delivered by 2002
Order tracking facility Subscription e-mail newsletter

UK Debt Management Office

  1. (i) Current: Website giving information on gilts policy announcements and publications
  2. (ii) By 2002: Gilts database accessible via website
Possibly, personal investor access to the Bank of England's gilts brokerage service; and Bidding at gilts auctions (but cannot be certain)

National Savings The National Savings Internet site currently offers product information and access to application forms for all products which can be printed and sent by post to National Savings. National Savings aims to provide the following services online for all products (with the possible exception of the passbook savings account):

  • general information and inquiry fulfilment
  • sales and account opening
  • after sales service and information
  • limited withdrawal services
Delivery of these services is expected to be available for customers before 2002.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) The Office for National Statistics (ONS) currently manages/ provides two websites: The ONS website; which promotes the ONS and its products and services. It provides sources and contacts for all the products we produce and services we provide; and the Government Statistical Service (GSS) website which offers free downloadable economic and social statistics via a database delivery system, ONS Press Releases, details of job vacancies and training with the GSS and carries promotions and links to other Government Departments' statistics. The new National Statistics website. to go live in June, will be a redesigned amalgamation of both the previous sites. It will offer everything both sites already offer. In addition many publications will be available to view online with the option to purchase via e-commerce in place by the end of the year. Further development and enhancement of the site will be led by research with users.

HM Treasury The domestic Treasury has contact with the general public through its Publishing Unit, the Public Inquiry Unit and via Ministerial Correspondence, and with business via its procurement procedures. The Publishing Unit is responsible for the Treasury's Internet site, which already offers online access to many of its publications. It is also possible to e-mail the Public Inquiry Unit via a link on the public website. The system that deals with Ministerial Correspondence will be updated to cope with all forms of electronic communication, including e-mail, before 2002. The Treasury Procurement Unit is working closely with the Office of Government Commerce and plans to participate in the Government Shopping Mall and to pilot electronic tendering before 2002.

Inland Revenue

  1. (i) The following services are currently available online:
By Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Electronic Lodgement Service (for approved agents to send their clients Self Assessment returns to the Revenue electronically. 300,000 returns for 1998–99 were received this way) Employer Electronic Communication (for, predominantly large. employers to exchange PAYE and CIS forms and returns with the Revenue electronically) On the Internet, via our website, are: provision of departmental information and guidance a range of forms for download and print, Valuation Office 1995 and 2000 Non-Domestic Rating Lists online, with an online appeals facility Capital Taxes Office, Tax-exempt Heritage Assets database registration facility for the new service which will allow individual taxpayers to send their tax return to Inland Revenue via the Internet within the next few weeks

Additional services planned to be available online by 2002 will allow a range of forms and returns to be sent to the Inland Revenue via the Internet Self Assessment Pay As You Earn (PAYE) A number of other services, such as Corporation Tax, which will be delivered during 2002 are currently at the planning stage

Valuation Office Targets in respect of key services to be delivered by 2002 Complaints and correspondence. Facility already enabled. The target is for 25 per cent. being received electronically by 2002. The recent implementation of Internet e-mail in all Valuation Offices and creation of the VOA website should ensure this target is, commensurate with the public's access to e-mail, easily met. Rating List availability The 1995 and 2000 rating lists are now available online via the Internet. There have been 2 million "hits" since January 2000 Rating appeals Since April 2000 ratepayers and their advisers have been able to submit appeals electronically against the 1995 and 2000 rating lists. The target is that by 2002 40 per cent. of appeals are submitted this way. Critical to meeting this target is success in working closely with the surveying profession to ensure the numerous appeals they submit on behalf of clients are electronic. Forms of return Prior to each quinquennial revaluation of non domestic properties up to 1.8 million notices requiring a return of information essential to the valuation process are issued. The next 2005 revaluation will require forms being issued in early 2003. We expect to offer an electronic lodgement service with a target of 20 per cent. of forms being received this way. Transfer of Rating and Council Tax Data to Valuation Tribunal Offices. The VOA transfers large quantities of information in respect of appeals to the VTO's on a regular basis. Previously achieved in hard copy and then magnetic tape this process became electronic in October 1999. Council Tax Lists and Appeals via the Internet Government guidelines currently preclude publishing the Council Tax lists on the Internet. Consideration is being given to how to facilitate electronic lodgement of appeals and what the target should be. Data transfer of lists and schedules to BA's VOA frequently transfers significant quantities of data to Billing Authorities in the form of complete lists and schedules for Council Tax and Rating. Current media is hard copy, floppy disk or tape (23 million properties). With effect from I May 2000 this data transfer is available electronically. Instructions With effect from 1 June 2000 the key instructions used by VOA staff to carry out their responsibilities will be available online to the public Telephone Last year the Agency implemented a new telephone system which enables the public to ring any valuation office in the country at local call rates

Office of Government Commerce HQ

  1. (i) OGC provides online information through its website
OGC are planning to have the infrastructure to enable departments to carry out online electronic procurement functions by 2002

PACE Assumes that as the question is about services to the public, in which case a nil return for both (i) and (ii)

The Buying Agency TBA currently provide an online catalogue and ordering facility for goods and services available through competitively tendered frameworks for use by buyers throughout the public sector. The existing online ordering will be extended to include payment etc. before 2002

CCTA The only service CCTA provides online to the public is the availability of the open.gov.uk access point to government websites. We have no plans for additional services by 2002. We do provide online services to other Government organisations, (a) in terms of advice and guidance provided on the Virtual Foundation intranet site and (b) through our catalogue services and framework contracts for Government purchasers of IT goods and services. It is planned to expand these facilities by 2002.