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Parliamentary Questions

Volume 488: debated on Friday 27 February 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assumed hourly cost to departments of the work required from civil servants in preparing answers to questions is used to calculate whether a parliamentary Question would incur a disproportionate cost; and what changes to the assumed cost for the preparation of an answer there have been since 1997. (258378)

When applying the disproportionate cost threshold (DCT) Departments calculate cost using the actual marginal cost of staff time required to provide an answer.

Marginal cost is the direct cost of civil servants’ time and excludes the fixed costs of the Department. A Department can choose to apply the DCT where this marginal cost is calculated as exceeding the threshold, currently set at £750.