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Amendment Papers: Internet

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission if he will take steps to ensure that all amendments to Bills are published on the Parliamentary internet site before 8:30 am on days on which those bills are to be considered in Committee or at report stage; and if he will make a statement. (207188)

The present agreement with the electronic services provider to the House allows for up to eight amendment papers to be published progressively on the internet site between 7.30 am and 9.30 am, with any remaining amendment papers published progressively thereafter. The agreement recognises that not everything can be published at the same time without incurring disproportionate costs, but does allow for publishing according to priorities set by the House. Amendment papers relating to committee or report stage for bills to be considered on the day of publication of the amendment paper are given priority. While it is not possible under the agreement to guarantee that any particular amendment paper in this category will be published by 8.30 am, an examination of the records of uploading times since January 2008 reveals that in fact 70 per cent. of all amendment papers published in the period, including those for future days, were made available on the parliamentary website before 8.30 am. As a recent example, the amendment paper for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill for Monday 19 May, for consideration that day in Committee of the Whole House, was published on the website at 7.37 am.