Memorandum from the Official Report
The department welcomes the proposal to bring
forward the time from which questions can be answered to 9.30
am every day, which would greatly facilitate prompt printing.
However, it would be counterproductive if it resulted in Government
Departments drip-feeding the replies in small batches throughout
the day as that would disrupt the department's workflow considerably.
What would be even more helpful, in view of recent delays in Departments
sending copies of answers to the Official Report for inclusion
in the daily part, would be a deadline for delivery of, say, 7
pm every day.
The Department has agreed with the Leader of
the House that it would be possible to publish Ministers' written
statements in a dedicated section at the start of written answers.
It would be essential for Departments to identify the statements
The department has agreed with the Leader of
the House that it will publish any substantive answers received
from Departments during the recess in a special edition of Hansard
in about mid-September, with those received during the remainder
of the recess being published on the first working day after the
recess. Those answers will take the date of the day of publication,
not the date of delivery to our office.
PARAGRAPHS 56 TO
The department already receives questions electronically
from The Stationery Office every morning. If there was also a
system of Departments routinely sending the answers electronically,
perhaps via the Government Secure Intranet, it would assist in
coping with peaks of work load (as we have experienced over the
past few months), would allow for more questions and answers to
be published on the day they are answered and contribute to reduced
Deputy Editor (House)
25 April 2002