Points of Order

– in the House of Commons at 4:29 pm on 24th February 2009.

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Photo of Mark Pritchard Mark Pritchard Conservative, The Wrekin 4:29 pm, 24th February 2009

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. You will know the rules concerning the reporting of contingency liabilities: no contingent is allowed to proceed without examination if a Member of this House formally objects. Given that the Ministry of Defence suggests in a departmental minute dated 17 February that it is looking to increase the initial contingent liability on the defence training review project from £9.5 million to a staggering £40 million, without any ministerial statement, may I ask that it be put on the record that I am formally objecting to this MOD minute and new contingent liability?

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Photo of Andrew MacKinlay Andrew MacKinlay Labour, Thurrock

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I, too, have discovered that there are just two copies in existence of a Ministry of Defence departmental minute dated 17 February relating to a contingent liability of £250,000 for which there is no specific statutory authority. The minute states:

"If, during the period of fourteen Parliamentary sitting days beginning on the date on which this Minute was laid before Parliament, a Member signifies an objection by giving notice of a Parliamentary Question or by otherwise raising the matter in Parliament, final approval to proceed with incurring the liability will be withheld".

I am raising this matter now. This sort of thing is happening too often and only two documents are being produced—it is sneaky and it has to stop.

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