§ Mr. Brooke
After trials in January the initial phase of the Government data network has been accepted. It was implemented at 178 Customs and Excise sites throughout the United Kingdom on 20 January and is now in daily use.
The Government will now be considering the future strategy for Government voice and data traffic as a whole. An interdepartmental collaborative study, led by Her Majesty's Treasury, has been set up to identify possible options for aggregating Government voice traffic and integrating voice and data traffic. Ministers will receive a report of the study in about six months' time and will announce their conclusions, in the light of the study, in due course.
The study will be undertaken by a project team involving Her Majesty's Customs and Excise, the Department of Employment, the Home Office, the Inland Revenue, the Northern Ireland Civil Service and the Department of Social Security in conjunction with Her Majesty's Treasury's central computer and telecommunications agency. Consultancy support for the project team will be provided by Kermon Associates Ltd. and PA Consulting Group, and a third consultancy firm will be chosen to provide independent quality assurance.