§ Mr. Laurence Robertson
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the use of smart card technology in his Department and in the areas for which it is responsible; and what discussions he has had with private companies about the use of smart card technology within his Department. 
§ Ruth Kelly
Smart card technology will be used in the new Treasury building as part of the access control mechanisms, and for "cashless" purchase of catering and vending services. The technology is being provided by Exchequer Partnership as part of the PFI contract for the new building. There have been no direct discussions between the Treasury and the technology supplier.
More widely, in March 2002, the Treasury implemented two European directives on electronic money, which bring it within the scope of Financial Services Authority regulation. The directives aim to encourage the development of electronic money, in part through increasing business and consumer confidence in it as a new and developing means of payment.
The Treasury is also represented on a working group looking at Government policy towards smart card technology, chaired by the Office of the e-Envoy.