§ Mr. Winnick
To ask the Prime Minister what is the policy adopted by Ministers if hon. and right hon. Members request that replies to letters concerning constituents abroad come from Ministers and not from chief executives or departmental heads of agencies.
§ The Prime Minister
The Government's policy on dealing with letters from hon. and right hon. Members on agency matters was most recently set out in the Government's reply to the Treasury and Civil Service Committee's 1990 report on the next steps initiative, Cm 1263, which said: 749WIt is for Ministers responsible for particular Agencies to respond in the way they consider most helpful and appropriate to inquiries raised by Members. Ministers will normally ask the Chief Executive to reply to letters which concern day-to-day operational matters delegated to the Agency.
The fact that a Member's inquiry was made on behalf of a constituent who lived abroad would not in itself provide a reason to change this approach.