§ Mr. Truswell
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what use her Department and its agencies make 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 such usages were last reviewed. 
§ Ms Hewitt
This information is not held centrally by the Department and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. I have asked the relevant agencies to respond to my hon. Friend.
Letter from A. Brimelow to Mr. Paul Truswell:
HOUSE OF COMMONS PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS: 2002/563368WI am replying to your Parliamentary Question 563 tabled on 13 December 2002, about the use made of postcode areas for (a) the collection and publication of data, (b) devising formulae for distribution of grants and awards, (c) the delivery of services; and when such usages were last reviewed.The Patent Office publish an annual facts and figures booklet which includes a breakdown of the number of patent, trade mark and design applications filed and granted or registered by region based upon postcode data provided by the applicant. The Patent Office Search and Advisory Service also uses postcode analysis on an ad-hoc basis to answer general Intellectual Property enquiries made under that service. The last review was in 2001.We do not distribute grants or awards to our customers.
Letter from Ms R. J. R. Anderson to Mr. Paul Truswell:
PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION ON THE USE OF POST CODESAs Chief Executive off the Radiocommunications Agency, I have been requested to reply directly to your question of 13 December 2002 to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.The Radiocommunications Agency does not use post codes for (a) collecting or publicising data, other than for collecting customer addresses; or (b) devising formulae for the distribution of grants or awards. For (c) the delivery of services, the Agency only uses post codes as a customer search aid and for defining which of its national or regional offices has responsibility for particular customers.
Letter from Dr. R. Heathcote to Mr. Paul Truswell, dated January 2003:RE: Review and use of postcode information for the data processing, distribution and delivery of services.You tabled a Parliamentary Question on 13 December 2002 to Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, concerning what use was made of post code areas for (a) the collection and publication of data, (b) devising of grants and awards and (c) the delivery of services; and when such usages were last reviewed. I have been asked to reply in respect of the Employment Tribunals Service (ETS), which is an executive agency of the DTI, providing the administrative support for the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in Great Britain.The ETS does not use postcode areas for the collection and publication of data. The agency's work does not involve devising formulae for the distribution of awards and grants, although the tribunals do make awards of compensation on the cases which they deal with, these are not determined according to postcode.Prior to 1996, each office had a regional boundary which was defined, with some exceptions, along county borders. These borders were realigned along postcode area boundaries as a result of the de-centralisation of the applications process. This meant that applications were sent direct to the appropriate office, according to the post code of the place where the applicant either worked or applied to work. Since then, changes to the boundaries between offices have been made to accommodate changing workloads particularly the opening of a new tribunal office at Watford in July 2000, whose regional area was carved out of neighbouring regions by transferring post code areas to it.Employment Tribunals in Scotland have retained their centralised system with all applications being sent to the Glasgow office, with cases then being generally assigned to a local office or hearing centre on the basis of the postcode of the applicant's home address. EAT has only two offices (London and Edinburgh) covering England & Wales and Scotland respectively, dealing with appeals split along the border between the two countries, not according to postcodes.The agency is presently undertaking a review of the distribution of workloads with regards to the geographical match between the origin of tribunal cases and the present spread of its 33 offices and hearing centre around the country. This review was initiated as a result of a recommendation contained within 'Moving Forward: the report of the Employment Tribunal System Taskforce'. A full copy of the taskforce report can be accessed at www.employmenttribunalsystemtaskforce.gov.uk The work that is currently being done in support of the analysis of postcodes will also consider public transport links to our existing network of offices.
Letter from D. Flynn to Mr. Paul Truswell, dated 20 January 2003:The Secretary of State has asked me to respond to your question (2002/563) as to what use The Insolvency Service 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 such usages were last reviewed.369WThe Insolvency Service has made no use of postcode areas for the collection and publication of data, devising formulae for the distribution of grant and awards or the delivery of services.
Letter from Dr. J. W. Llewellyn to Mr. Paul Truswell:The Secretary for Trade and Industry has asked me to reply on behalf of the National Weights and Measures Laboratory (NWML) to your question on what use her Department 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 such usages were last reviewed.NWML does not use postcodes in any of the ways described.
Letter from C. Clancy to Mr. Paul Truswell:I am responding on behalf of Companies House, Executive Agency to your Parliamentary Question on the Department of Trade and Industry's policy on the usage of postal code areas.Companies House does not make use of postcodes in the collection and publication of data or in devising formulae for the distribution of grants and awards.In the delivery of services, postcodes are used to target invitations for company directors and their professional advisers to attend regionally held seminars on directors' legal responsibilities under the Companies Act. This was last reviewed in February 2002. In the last twelve months they have also been used to target invitations to customers to take part in regionally based focus groups, where they can give face to face feedback on Companies House services and its relations with customers. It will be reviewed in April 2003.