HC Deb 20 April 2004 vol 420 c435W
Mr. White

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress his Department has made ot manage the changeover from the Bank Automated Clearing System to the new BACSTEL-IP system for electronic payments.

Ivor Caplin

Action to manage the changeover to the new BACSTEL-IP system is being co-ordinated in the Ministry of Defence by the Defence Communications Services Agency, supported by the Departmental Corporate Banking and Fund Manager and by Lloyds TSB, the sponsoring bank for BACS within the Department. Initial work to gather information has been conducted, and a plan prepared to enable migration well ahead of the discontinuation of the existing BACS system.

Dr. Lynne Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what alternative methods of payment he is proposing for people who currently receive a war pension by order book, girocheque or payable order but will be unable to transfer to direct payment. [165214]

(2) who will be eligible to receive their war pension by methods other than direct payment. [165215]

Ivor Caplin

The Veterans Agency (VA) has always accepted that for a very limited number of customers, those most vulnerable and genuinely unable to manage Direct Payment, this method of payment may not be practical or suitable for their needs.

For those customers the VA will provide an alternative method of payment that will take the form of a weekly cheque. This will be sent to the pensioner's home by first class post and they will be able to cash it at any post office.

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