Select Committee on Public Accounts Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 240-243)



  240. Some of them failed we have been told that.
  (Sir Nicholas Montagu) No. This is important again Mr Williams. You must distinguish between the submissions issue, which we have dealt with, and the level of interest. We are talking about a gap between the number of people who registered and the number of people who opted in the event to use the service.

  241. How do you know the others did not opt to use it but were not able to because the thing was not working?
  (Sir Nicholas Montagu) There may be some of those but the gap is not—

  242. Why only some, why might there not be lots? What evidence have you got?
  (Sir Nicholas Montagu) Again, because we have a lot of evidence of these technical issues—the slash, the pound sign, the people doing that—and because also, remember, we went back to the people who had registered but not filed, and my understanding—and again Terry or Barry will correct me if I am wrong—it was not, "Oh, we tried but it was all too hard so we gave up". Is that right, broadly speaking?
  (Mr Hawes) Yes, there was quite a wide spectrum but that was basically the case, yes.

  Mr Williams: Thank you.


  243. Sir Nicholas, may I thank you for a characteristically combative and skilful performance, and may I also thank your two colleagues, Mr Glassberg and Mr Hawes, for assisting you today. Clearly there have been some teething problems, it is a very exciting project and I myself am inspired to attempt to do it myself.
  (Sir Nicholas Montagu) I am sure you will find it ease itself, Chairman.

  Chairman: Thank you very much. The session is closed.

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