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Questions for Written Answer

Volume 712: debated on Monday 29 June 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 17 June (WA 216), how many times this session the Northern Ireland Office has not applied the presumption concerning the provision of information in Written Answers. [HL4445]

Out of the 260 Lords Questions answered up to 15 June, the Northern Ireland Office referred to websites on 15 occasions. Ten of these were answered substantively, but in order to provide noble Lords with additional information on the subject, the Answers included links to websites where further information could be found.

A further two adhered to the protocol outlined in my Answer of 17 June by providing weblinks because the information requested could have been provided in the answer only at disproportionate cost.

For the remaining three Answers, the information requested was held by bodies that are independent of the Northern Ireland Office: in two cases the Chief Electoral Officer and in the third case a committee of the United Nations. It was therefore judged more appropriate to refer to the website of those bodies so that noble Lords had access to those organisations’ own statements on the matters in question rather than an interpretation of these statements by government Ministers.