§ Mr. Woodall
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will provide information on the current uses of computers within the Treasury and the Board of Inland Revenue and plans for their further introduction and extension.
§ Mr. Hayhoe
There are two major computer facilities in Her Majesty's Treasury: a Univac-based installation shared with the Central Statistical Office, and an ICL 2900 installation housed at Chessington in Surrey. The Univac system supports the Treasury econometric models and the financial information system for monitoring central Government expenditure. The Chessington computer centre provides a payroll and personnel record system for over 60 Government Departments. Microcomputers are also used for particular applications in the Treasury as a whole, and for appraisal in the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency.
Microcomputer systems are being introduced into restaurants operated and managed by the Civil Service catering organisation. The further use of information technology in the Treasury will follow from studies now in hand in the field of microcomputing and new office technology.
In the Inland Revenue, computers are used to handle the collection of PAYE and other direct taxes, the assessment of corporation tax, PAYE assessing and coding work for the employees of Scottish-based employers, the control of the sub-contractors' deduction scheme and the assessment of Lloyd's underwriters. In addition they are used to provide statistical information regarding the taxes under the care and management of the board and to run a number of departmental administrative systems.
The most important extension of computerisation currently taking place is the developrnent of an on-line system to handle PAYE assessing and coding work together with related functions. The aim is for this system to be in operation throughout the country by the end of 1987 or early 1988. Work is also in hand to improve existing systems by taking advantage of up-to-date technology whilst other possibilities for the cost effective extension of computerisation to support various aspects of the Department's work are kept continuously under review.