§ Mr. David Shaw
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will develop plans to create more openness in Government by publishing Government press releases and other information on a free access electronic news or bulletin board system.
§ Mr. Waldegrave
The Central Office of Information's HERMES database of Government press releases is already available to the public via a number of on-line services. Charges for access are determined by the database hosts. I have no plans to examine the feasibility of setting up a bulletin board system for free public access. Distribution of press notices to the public is a matter for individual Government Departments.