§ Mr. Lidington
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the maximum time scale permitted between the laying of a statutory instrument and its publication(a) on her Department's website and (b) by HM Stationery Office. 
§ Mr. Morley
[holding answer 17 June 2002]: Departmental statutory instruments are published in accordance with guidelines laid out in the Cabinet Office publication "Statutory Instrument Practice" (second edition, 1987). Departments arrange physical publication of statutory instruments with Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO) and The Stationery Office (TSO).
HMSO aim to publish statutory instruments on their website (which can be found at www.hmso.gov.uk) within 24 hours of the date of formal publication.
DEFRA continually aims to publish statutory instruments as early as possible, and publishes most statutory instruments to coincide with the date of laying before Parliament. On some occasions—for example, in implementing emergency measures—it is not always possible to achieve this, as HMSO needs time to typeset the instrument.
Although all published statutory instruments are published on the HMSO website, the Department also publishes many instruments on its own website at www.defra.gov.uk. In many cases this occurs at the stage of public consultation.