HL Deb 14 December 2004 vol 667 cc70-1WA
Lord Marlesford

asked Her Majesty's Government:

When they will announce the date on which the National Firearms Licensing Management System, as required by Section 39 of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997, will be in full operation. [HL77]

Lord Bassam of Brighton

As my noble friend Lord Rooker explained in responding to the noble Lord on 4 November, a number of technical difficulties came to light during the piloting of this system and it has been necessary to suspend the roll-out programme until the New Year. I understand from the Police Information Technology Organisation that most of these technical issues have been resolved but it has been necessary to commission an audit of force communications networks. This will not be completed before the end of the year and the aim then is to analyse the report with a view to assessing the implications for individual police forces by the end of January. It is not possible to renegotiate a new roll-out schedule with forces until this information is available.