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Departmental Written Questions

Volume 503: debated on Thursday 7 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many and what percentage of Parliamentary Questions tabled for written answer by his Department on a named day in session 2008-09 received a substantive answer on that day. (307542)

In recent months, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has significantly improved its performance in answering named day PQs on time. The numbers of such PQs received and answered on time from January 2009 to Prorogation in November 2009 were as follows. Reliable statistics are not available for December 2008.

Questions

Received

Answered

January

66

10

February

62

17

March

66

21

April

29

5

May

40

17

June

50

28

July

45

32

September

35

35

October

92

67

November

22

19

Central guidance on answering parliamentary questions is now available in the ‘Guide to Parliamentary Work’, at:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/parliamentary-clerk-guide.aspx

In the response to the Procedure Committee Report on written parliamentary questions, the Government accepted the Committee’s recommendation that Departments be required to provide the Procedure Committee with sessional statistics in a standard format on the time taken to respond to written parliamentary questions, accompanied by an explanatory memorandum setting out any factors affecting their performance. This will be taken forward as soon as possible.