I can inform the hon. Gentleman that the planned completion date for the Treasury for the year 2000 programme is the end of this year for most IT systems, with the remainder to be completed by the end of March next year. The overall cost of work is £114,000, which will be funded from existing resources through rescheduling work programmes.
Will the Minister confirm that he is the lead Minister in his Department dealing with the millennium bug? Will he say how much of his time is spent each week dealing with the millennium bug problem? How many people in his Department are dealing with the problem full time? Is the right hon. Gentleman happy, following the Audit Commission's report last week, that the Department will be able to meet its time scale?
I can confirm to the hon. Gentleman that we shall be able to meet our time scale, unlike the Opposition who, when they were in government, did nothing about the problem. We have a comprehensive range of activities at the Treasury and throughout all central Government Departments. We are committed to ensuring that this very serious problem, in which the hon. Gentleman has an interest and on which he had quite recently an Adjournment debate, is properly handled, which it was not when the Conservative party was in government.