Written Questions: Government Responses

House of Lords written question – answered on 29th July 2014.

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Photo of Lord Stoddart of Swindon Lord Stoddart of Swindon Independent Labour

To ask the Leader of the House whether she will discourage ministers and spokespersons from answering Questions for Written Answer by referring to websites, in order to accommodate those without internet access.

Photo of Baroness Stowell of Beeston Baroness Stowell of Beeston Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal

On 13 May the House agreed a new set of rules to govern the content of written answers, in response to the introduction of a new electronic system for submitting them. While the digital copy of answers will be the definitive record copy, all written answers will continue to be published, and a signed copy will continue to be sent to the Peer asking the question.

These rules make clear that all answers should be complete and comprehensible, and not rely on references to external documents or webpages. They also make clear that supporting documents should be included as attachments, not hyperlinks, and referred to in the answer itself. Any attachments that are included will be available in the Library to be printed out on demand.

All of these rules will help to accommodate those without internet access. I will remind all Lords Ministers to adhere to them.

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