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Parliamentary Questions

Volume 455: debated on Monday 8 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many parliamentary written questions her Department received in each parliamentary session since 2001; and how many of these questions (a) were not answered because of disproportionate cost, (b) were not answered, (c) received answers referring back to a previous answer (i) asked by the hon. Member and (ii) asked by another hon. Member and (d) were grouped together for answer. (107462)

This information is not held centrally and could not be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost. I can however provide (in the table) a breakdown of the number of questions answered in each year; the number of ordinary written questions answered on time; and the number of named day questions answered on the allocated day.

Parliamentary Session

Total number of ordinary written questions

Total number of ordinary written questions answered within one week

Total number of named day questions

Total number of named day questions answered on allocated day

2001-02

2,379

1,776

1,043

854

2002-03

2,779

2,102

591

440

2003-04

2,508

1,954

548

386

2004-05

1,592

827

323

183

2005-06

4,248

3,460

952

723

2006-07 (to date)

254

242

68

59

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what target her Department has for the maximum acceptable amount of time to answer parliamentary written questions; and what percentage of parliamentary answers met that target in each parliamentary session since 2001. (107463)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) places great importance on parliamentary questions and undertakes to answer all questions promptly. FCO Ministers and officials endeavour to answer named day questions on the allocated day and ordinary written questions within one week. I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him today (UIN 107462).

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions in the past three years her Department (a) initiated and (b) attended, when called by another Department, handling strategy meetings to deal with written parliamentary questions tabled by the hon. Member for Thurrock. (107909)

[holding answer 12 December 2006]: My Department has neither initiated, nor been invited to attend, handling strategy meetings to deal with written parliamentary questions tabled by my hon. Friend.