§ Mr. Dismore
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the total number of DSS benefit offices; how many are linked to the Internet; what estimate he has made of the cost of linking DSS offices to the Internet which are not so linked; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Angela Eagle
The administration of benefits is a matter for Peter Mathison, the Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member.
Letter from Peter Mathison to Mr. Andrew Dismore, dated 28 February 2000:The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the total number of DSS benefit offices; how many are linked to the Internet; and what estimate he has made of the cost of linking DSS offices to the Internet which are not so linked.I can confirm that the total number of DSS benefit offices is 440. In this instance I have assumed you refer to Benefits Agency local and district offices and the Benefits Centres. Of these, 26 are linked to the Internet via a standalone telephone connection.The estimated cost of linking the remaining 414 offices in a similar way would be around £400,000.I hope this is helpful.