§ Brian White
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress his Department has made to manage the changeover from the Bank Automated Clearing System to the new BACSTEL-IP system for electronic payments. 
§ Fiona Mactaggart
The Bank Automated Clearing System (BACS) is an automated payments service provided by BACS Ltd. This provides the standard route for electronic funds transmission used across the UK. BACSTEL-IP is the platform for the future of automated payments. It is based on internet protocols and uses the latest Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) technologies for heightened levels of security.
Home Office met with Bottomline Technologies, our supplier, and Sirius, our IT partner, in November 2003 to discuss the implementation of the new BACSTEL-IP system. The meeting concluded that as the last date for switching to BACSTEL-IP is December 2005, the partnership should firstly concentrate on the migration from BASS, the current Home Office accounting system, to the new system, Ade1phi, using the existing BACSTEL system. A further meeting will take place between all parties in the autumn of 2004 to discuss the switch to the new BACSTEL-IP system planned for the early part of 2005.