§ Mr. Boswell
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what progress is being made in developing electronic data interchange between further education colleges and awarding bodies. 
§ Mr. Wicks
[holding answer 17 February 2000]: The major awarding bodies use a variety of electronic data interchange (EDI) systems, operated through service providers, to link with colleges and they encourage the use of these systems. It is for each college to decide whether to use EDI systems or not. Links are well developed for GCSE, GCE and GNVQ titles but less so for NVQs and "brand name" qualifications.