HC Deb 04 June 1996 vol 278 c332W
Mr. Bradley

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) for what reasons HMSO has ceased publication of the social fund guide; [31061]

(2) if he will list the publications which HMSO has ceased to publish in the last year; for what reasons HMSO has ceased publishing these documents; and what steps will be taken to ensure that copies of these remain available to the public. [31060]

Mr. Freeman

As these questions concern purely operational matters, I have asked the chief executive of HMSO to write direct to the hon. Member.

Letter from Mike Lynn to Mr. Keith Bradley, dated 29 May 1996:

I have been asked to reply to your two Parliamentary Questions (numbers 183 and 185) to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. The Social Fund Guide is a loose-leaf publication in two volumes, which was last published in May 1995. Amendments are published from time to time, and there have been five so far for the current edition. Both the main volumes and the amendments are prepared and printed by Benefits Agency Publishing Ltd, who provide copies for internal use within the Benefits Agency, and sell copies to HMSO for resale to customers. Amendments numbers 4 and 5 were printed some months ago, but there was a delay in taking copies for resale because of on-going discussions about alternative publishing methods, such as on-demand printing. I have now asked my people to take these amendments into stock immediately so that continuity of service can be provided to purchasers. You also ask what publications HMSO has ceased to publish in the last year. The Government departments who commission the vast majority of our non-parliamentary publishing output are free to use other publishers (or to publish in-house) if they choose. The only regular publication that we are aware of ceasing to publish during the last year is The Commonwealth Yearbook, which is now published by Hanson Cooke.