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Official Spelling

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy that official (a) correspondence, (b) reports and (c) documentation from his office uses the English spelling of words where this differs from the US version. [118864]

Great care is taken to ensure that all documentation produced by the Home Office, whether letters, reports, electronic communications or other material, is written clearly and correctly. However, the Department produces thousands of letters and publications a year and it is not practicable to ensure that the English spelling of words is used in every single item of correspondence.The Cabinet Office has issued guidance for departments on the handling of ministerial and other correspondence which emphasises that appropriate arrangements should be in place to ensure that the quality of all replies is high. It has also issued guidance on Plain Written English.Work is being undertaken in the Department to run Plain English workshops for staff which, will be reflected in future communications from the Department.