HC Deb 07 January 2003 vol 397 cc71-2W
Mr. Truswell

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what use the Cabinet Office and its agencies makes of postcode areas for(a) the collection and publication of data, (b) devising formulae for the distribution of grants and awards and (c) the delivery of services; and when usages were last reviewed. [87770]

Mr. Alexander

The information is as follows:

(a) The Office of the e-Envoy in the Cabinet Office is responsible for running and maintaining the UK online website. Postcode information is collected from those registering for consultations with a view to better understanding user requirements and tailoring future services accordingly.

UK Online Interactive does not currently routinely collect postcode information from users. However, Somerset County Council have been collecting postcode information through UK Online Interactive in order to present locally tailored information back to the user. A project is currently being planned which will extend this facility to the rest of the service, collecting postcode information derived from the set top box or entered by the user.

The Office of the e-Envoy also uses postcode area data to map the availability and take-up of online technologies. These maps are used in the development of the Government's policy aimed at reducing the 'digital divide'.

(b) The Cabinet Office currently makes no use of postcode data in devising formulae for the distribution of grants and awards.

(c) The Government Car and Despatch Agency operates two services. The InterDespatch Service makes use of postcodes as a building identifier for its delivery and collection services. The Government Car Service uses postcodes in conjunction with an autoroute system to identify addresses for the Plck up/set down of passengers. Both these uses are under constant review.

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