HC Deb 18 May 2004 vol 421 c884W
Mr. Allan

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his Department's policy is in respect of the computer file formats used for the(a) distribution and (b) archiving of publicly available documents. [173363]

Ruth Kelly

The information is as follows:

(a) Distribution

The use of PDF is common to all the main Chancellor's Departments (Office of National Statistics, HM Treasury, HM Customs and Excise and Inland Revenue), along with Microsoft Office applications (typically Word or Excel) though these formats can vary depending on the content of the file. ONS differs from the others in that its internal document management is based on the use of the IBM/Lotus Notes e-mail and collaboration suite and also the Microsoft Office suite. The Departments' individual websites all use HTML, although other applications are also used.

(b) Archiving

There is no common policy for archiving documents among the four Departments, although each has its own system in place to ensure information is captured. ONS uses an approved Electronic Records Management System; HMCE currently archives material in PDF format but for the future is looking at the use of XML; IR use a Content Management System to archive its internet published documents and the Treasury uses a records management system to store documents.

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