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Departments: Written Questions

Volume 462: debated on Wednesday 4 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many Parliamentary Questions were tabled to his Department between 1 January and 30 June 2007, broken down by (a) Ordinary Written and (b) Named Day; what percentage of Ordinary Written Questions were answered within 10 working days; what percentage of Named Day Questions were answered substantively by the date named; and what measures he is taking to ensure that Questions are answered within the (i) recommended and (ii) required time. (147021)

[holding answer2 July 2007]: Between 1 January and 30 June we answered 839 Named Day Parliamentary questions, of which 497 (59 per cent.) were answered on the day specified. We also answered 3,812 Ordinary written questions, of which 1,296 (34 per cent.) were answered within 10 working days.

We endeavour to answer all parliamentary questions as quickly as possible and have been reviewing our internal processes. We are developing a replacement database which will enable us to better manage the end to end process and are also developing training for all those in the Department who prepare answers for Ministers to consider.

In the run up to the recent Government changes, we made a particular effort to answer outstanding questions and in the week up to 25 June we answered over 550. We will continue to seek improvement in our performance in this important area.