Diplomatic Service

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 9th December 2014.

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Photo of Chris Ruane Chris Ruane Labour, Vale of Clwyd

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 15 September 2008 to Question 218988 and pursuant to the Answer of 27 November 2014 to Question 215445, how much it cost to collate the information to answer Question 218988; and what the estimated cost is for answering Question 215445.

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington The Minister for Europe

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) no longer holds information pertaining to the cost of collating the response given by the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the hon. Member for Sheffield Heeley (Meg Munn) on 15 September 2008 (PQ 218988). The guide to Parliamentary work (available on the Cabinet Office website at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guide-to-parliamentary-work and already in the Library of the House) sets out that Government departments can refuse to answer a question where the cost of responding to that question would be above the disproportionate cost threshold, which is currently set at £850. The FCO has calculated that any answer which involves consulting all Ambassadors and High Commissioners in our overseas Network would exceed this threshold.

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