HC Deb 11 December 1995 vol 268 c489W
Mr. Steen

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many identical copies of an advertisement for the bus and coach driving manual were sent on the same day to Barton Accessories in Moreleigh road, Harbertonford, Totness, South Devon, in the same post, and for what reason; what is HMSO's policy regarding duplication of publicity information; and if he will make a statement on the cost of duplication by HMSO. [5031]

Mr. Willetts

As this question concerns a purely operational matter, I have asked the chief executive of HMSO to write direct to the hon. Member.

Letter from Mike Lynn to Mr. Anthony Steen, dated 8 December 1995: I have been asked to reply to your question (No 43N) to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster about duplicate mailings from HMSO. I am sorry that the Manager of Barton Accessories had to suffer no less than nine envelopes containing identical information, including a letter signed by Steven Norris recommending an HMSO publication. As you probably know, it is common commercial practice to buy in mailing lists in order to reach specialised markets. HMSO brought this one, on an electronic disk, from a company specialising in passenger carrying vehicles. It has become clear to us that this particular list contained a number of duplications, and we have complained to the firm about it. They have apologised profusely, and waived all their charges. I recognise that this is little consolation to your constituent, but I am grateful to you for bringing the matter to my attention.