§ Mr. David Shaw
To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has now considered the British Computer Society's report on its independent review of the confidentiality arrangements for the computer processing of 1991 census data; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Dorrell
The report is contained in the White Paper "1991 Census of Population: Confidentiality and Computing"—Cm 1447—which is being published today by my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Health and for Scotland. The White Paper includes a statement by the Government and also sets out the Government's reply to the society's recommendations.
The society's report contains the following summary assessment:The Review Team has examined all relevant arrangements already in place, and the plans and stated intentions where preparatory work is still in progress. The Review Team can report that the arrangements made so far are, in its opinion, fully in keeping with the very high standards of confidentiality required; and that the plans and intentions current at the time of preparing this Report are consistent with that standard.
In their statement, the Government welcome not only the society's conclusions and recommendations but the opportunity to reaffirm their determination to protect the confidentiality of the information about individual persons and households to be collected in the census on 21 April.