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Parliamentary Questions

Volume 407: debated on Thursday 19 June 2003

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for International Development what procedures her Department employs to ensure the swift reply to parliamentary questions. [117074]

DFID attach great importance to answering PQs accurately and within recommended deadlines.PQs are drafted in line with central Cabinet Office guidelines entitled "Guidance to Officials on Drafting Answers to Parliamentary Questions". Copies of this guidance are available in the Libraries of the House.DFID also has detailed internal guidance in place for all staff on how PQs should be answered. We have a Parliamentary Unit that operates tracking and monitoring procedures to ensure that PQs are allocated promptly to the appropriate drafting officials and processed within pre-set deadlines.Every effort is made to handle PQs with the highest priority, but we also want to make sure that answers are as complete, informative and consistent as possible for Members. This means that deadlines for reply may not be met on every occasion.