Minister claims usage of machines will ‘naturally reduce’ over time
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The Department for Work and Pensions has not set any specific goals or schedule for eliminating the use of fax machines, but rather believes that usage will “naturally reduce” as other communications channels grow in prevalence.
A recent written parliamentary question from Labour MP Mark Tami asked work and pensions secretary Thérèse Coffey whether she could “set out a timetable for ensuring that all fax machines in her department and its executive agencies are replaced with secure email”.
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In response, one of the department’s junior ministers – minister for employment Mims Davies – said that the “DWP does not currently have a set timetable in place to reduce [or] remove the ability to send and receive fax messages”.
She added: “However alternative, wider digital channels of communication will become available to customers and DWP colleagues that will naturally reduce the need to utilise faxes by viewing and sharing data information at source, under secure measures.”
The use of faxes in the public sector has come under scrutiny this year in light of health secretary Matt Hancock late last year announcing his intention to, effectively, ban them from the NHS. Since January, NHS entities have been barred from purchasing any new units. Hancock’s goal is to entirely eliminate faxes from the health service by 31 March.