Schedule 1

Part of Pensions Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:15 pm on 5th February 2008.

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Photo of James Plaskitt James Plaskitt Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions 12:15 pm, 5th February 2008

That was hardly a ringing speech in support of the amendment. I suspect that the hon. Gentleman knows that there is not much chance of it being accepted.

I hope that we can dispatch the amendment briefly. The simple point is that trying to ensure publication the next day is not practicable. Proof reading has to be done, printing has to be checked, and delivery and distribution have to be sorted out. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman hopes that great care will be taken to ensure that published material is accurate in the interests of correctly informing Parliament and the public. To impose an artificial next-day requirement would make it difficult to achieve that. One would run the risk of errors creeping into published information, and I do not think that he would want that.

Requirements are already in place for non-departmental public bodies on submitting their accounts, and the Government Resources and Accounts Act 2000 imposes outer limits on the timeliness of things being published. Those safeguards are adequate to ensure that things are done promptly, but accurately, in the interests of good public information.

With that assurance, I hope that the hon. Gentleman will withdraw the amendment.