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Written Parliamentary Questions

Volume 570: debated on Thursday 7 November 2013

2. What recent assessment he has made of the performance of each Government Department in answering written parliamentary questions. (900964)

My office collates departmental performance information for ordinary and named day parliamentary questions, which I submit for each Session to the Procedure Committee. I provided data on the last Session to that Committee in July, and those are available on the parliamentary website.

Will the Leader of the House confirm that the Department for Education remains the most poorly performing Department and is getting worse, and will he say what is being done about it?

The hon. Lady will be aware from information on the parliamentary website of the relative position of Departments, including the Department for Education. The Procedure Committee held evidence-taking sessions with the Secretary of State and the permanent secretary, and the Chair of the Procedure Committee, my hon. Friend the Member for Broxbourne (Mr Walker), has written to that Department. The context of that correspondence was that performance was poor but had improved in recent weeks. I stress that over the past Session, more Departments have increased their performance in responding to written questions than have deteriorated. It was possible, however, for the Department with the largest number of such questions—the Department of Health—to achieve a 99% response rate.