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Official Spelling

Volume 407: debated on Friday 20 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make it her policy that all official (a) correspondence, (b) reports and (c) documentation from her office uses the English spelling of words where this differs from the US version. [118872]

I have asked officials to follow precisely this approach and I know they make considerable efforts to do so. It is a formal aim within Defra for all correspondence, reports and documentation to be written according to Plain English standards (allowing leeway in technical reports aimed at a specialist audience) and to avoid non-standard spelling. I have also asked officials to avoid use of initials except when they are in standard use, but this is even more difficult to achieve in practice. Publication of reports is carried out in line with Guidance on the Work of the Government Information Service.