Departments: Databases

Trade and Industry written question – answered on 5th March 2007.

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Photo of Nick Clegg Nick Clegg Shadow Secretary of State (Home Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what databases are controlled by his Department and its agencies; and what percentage of the data in each database he estimates is inaccurate or out of date.

Photo of Jim Fitzpatrick Jim Fitzpatrick Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Employment Relations & Postal Services)

The Department has several large corporate databases relating to finance, human resources and business records management. Data quality is an important factor and there are processes in place to ensure the currency of our data holdings. We include the use of automated and semi-automated checks to verify the accuracy and validity of data items. The Department is currently undergoing major structural change and it is recognised that the status of some items will alter significantly; as these changes occur our databases will be kept updated. It is estimated that data inaccuracy in the above mentioned repositories is less than 1 per cent.

Chief Executives of the Department's agencies have been asked to write to the hon. Member in respect of their databases.

Letter from Jeff Llewellyn, dated 5 March 2007:

The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has asked me to reply on behalf of the National Weights and Measures Laboratory (NWML) to your question regarding what databases are controlled by his Department and Its agencies; and what percentage of the data in each database he estimates is inaccurate or out of date.

NWML operates two major databases (defining database as an organized body of over 1000 records of related information) and the percentage figures for accuracy and currency of the data is set out below:

Database Percentage Accurate
TRIM (Records Management) 100
Goldmine (Customer contacts) 85

Letter from Desmond Flynn, dated 5 March 2007:

The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has asked me to reply to you directly on behalf of The Insolvency Service in respect of your question (2006/1359), asking what databases are controlled by his Department and its agencies; and what percentage of the data in each database he estimates is inaccurate or out of date.

The Insolvency Service (The Service) controls the following databases that support its core activities:

LOIS and The Central Index—These are The Service's principal case management databases.

LOLA and BANCS—These databases handle the receipt and payment of monies in connection with insolvency cases.

The Individual Insolvency Register—This database supports the online Individual Insolvency Register search facility, which is provided to the public from The Service's Internet website.

BANCS Online—This database supports an online facility that enables Insolvency Practitioners to obtain electronic statements in relation to monies deposited in the Insolvency Services Account.

I-Solv—This database supports The Service's online, insolvency forms processing service.

CHIRPS—This is the case management database for The Service's Redundancy Payments Directorate.

IBIS—This is the case management database for the Companies Investigation Branch.

The Individual Insolvency Register, BANCS Online, I-Solv, CHIRPS and now IBIS are partly operated by external organisations on The Service's behalf (see The Service's response to PQ 2005/6162), and the remaining databases are operated and hosted by The Service.

Letter from Ron Marchant, dated 5 March 2007:

Please see the following, from the Patent Office, in response to your recent parliamentary questions.

Written PQ 2006/1359: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, what databases are controlled by his Department and its agencies; and what percentage of the data in each database he estimates is inaccurate or out of date.

The Patent Office has a statutory duty to maintain registers of the intellectual property rights granted for patents, designs and trade marks. It is the responsibility of the rights holders to advise the Office of changes to these databases (e.g. names.& addresses, changes of ownership) by using the appropriate statutory forms. To that extent we believe that the databases are accurate and up to date

Letter from Tim Moss, dated 5 March 2007:

I am responding to your recently tabled Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on behalf of Companies House, which is an Executive Agency of the DTI.

While Companies House has numerous internal databases, only two are production databases used for the core business within the Companies Act of 1985.

STEM is the current Companies Register and is updated in real time by both the data from paper forms submitted to Companies House and the data from our electronic services.

PUBL is a copy of STEM that is used in conjunction with the image system to supply company information to users of Companies House Direct (CHD) and Webcheck. This system is updated from STEM at the end of each day and is therefore one day older than the source database STEM.

The data on both databases is provided by our customers and accepted by Companies House in good faith. We do not validate that data so we have no estimate of the percentage that is inaccurate.

The compliance rate for the receipt of documents is 95%, which means that 5% of data required to be provided by customers is either not up to date or is not filed by the due date.

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