HL Deb 01 July 2002 vol 637 cc17-8WA
The Duke of Montrose

asked the Leader of the House:

Whether he will take steps to ensure that Members of this House can obtain properly printed government documents when they are required for consideration in this House rather than being forced to print out those documents from departmental websites. [HL4757]

The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Williams of Mostyn)

Current practice on which documents government departments and agencies send to the House of Lords, and in which form they are supplied, varies from department to department and among the various government agencies.

In my view, any document mentioned on the House of Lords Order Paper should he available to Members of the House in every form in which it is available, be that as a printed document, a website download or even a CD-ROM.

To this end I have written to Sir Richard Wilson today suggesting that coherent guidance should be given to all government departments and agencies that whenever a document they produce is mentioned on the House of Lords Order Paper, or is likely to be of particular interest to the House, adequate copies of that document should be sent to the Printed Paper Office, I have asked Sir Richard to cascade this guidance down through the various permanent secretaries and agency chief executives.