HC Deb 04 April 2001 vol 366 cc223-4W
Mr. Quentin Davies

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if it is his intention that farmers filing their IACS returns by electronic mail may prevent their names and addresses from being published in commercial directories. [156679]

Ms Quin

[holding answer 3 April 2001]: IACS applicants are now able to submit their 2001 IACS forms electronically. This new electronic service from MAFF will deliver much more than a simple e-mail. The forms have built in intelligence, which checks the validity and consistency of the data entered, and calculates totals automatically. There is also an on-line help facility which will guide applicants through completion of the forms. We hope this will make it easier and quicker to complete the forms, and at the same time reduce the scope for making errors.

The electronic IACS service is secure. Applicants will only be able to view their own data, and will submit their forms using their own unique digital signature, which also encrypts the data sent. An acknowledgement that their forms have been submitted successfully will be received electronically within minutes.

Data captured for IACS through this new electronic service are subject to the same requirements for confidentiality as the paper IACS forms and we do not publish or otherwise make these details available to commercial interests.