HC Deb 14 June 1994 vol 244 cc449-50W
Mr. Kirkwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in what circumstances it is his Department's practice, when issuing a public consultation document, to inform those consulted that their responses will be made public unless they explicitly ask for them to be kept confidential; and if he will arrange for his Department to do so in all cases in future.

Sir John Wheeler

If it is the intention of the Northern Ireland Office or of any of the Northern Ireland Departments to make responses to a consultation document publicly available, those consulted are informed that their responses will be made public unless the writer explicitly asks for them to be kept confidential.

The code of practice on Government information commits Government Departments to publishing relevant facts and analysis underlying major policy proposals and decisions and this will include the details of consultation responses. The code does not require provision of the responses themselves, although this will often be the most straightforward way of providing the information.