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Departmental Written Questions

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 24th November 2011.

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Photo of Jon Trickett Jon Trickett Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office

To ask the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills

(1) how many parliamentary questions for written answer on a named day by his Department were answered (a) on time, (b) five days late, (c) 10 days late, (d) 20 days late and (e) over 30 days late in each month since May 2010;

(2) how many parliamentary questions for (a) ordinary written answer and (b) written answer on a named day by his Department have remained unanswered for a period of two months since May 2010.

Photo of Edward Davey Edward Davey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

The Department aims to answer named day questions on the date specified by the Member, and ordinary parliamentary questions (PQs) within five sitting days. Where it is not possible to provide a full answer within the usual deadline, the Department believes it will normally be preferable to provide an answer a few days late, rather than provide an incomplete answer.

During the period 10 May 2010 to 31 October 2011 a total of 1,469 named day parliamentary questions (PQs) were due for answer, of which 969 (66%) received a substantive reply on the date requested by the Member. Twenty-three of the 1,469 named day answers (2%) did not receive a substantive answer within 10 sitting days.

In line with the format provided to the Procedure Committee in the last session,(1) the Department's PQ data are recorded by (i) questions answered on time (ii) questions answered within 5 to 10 days and (iii) questions answered more than 10 days late. Data related to PQs answered 20 or 30 days late are not held centrally within the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The Government have committed to providing the Procedure Committee with information relating to written PQ performance on a sessional basis and will provide the committee with the information, using the same format as before, at the end of the session.

These figures have been drawn from the Department's database which, as with any large scale recording system, is subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

(1 )Procedure Committee—First Special Report 7 December 2009 [HC 129].

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