§ Mr. Hammond
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what research has been undertaken into the reasons for differences in the average cost of answering parliamentary questions between government departments. 
§ Ruth Kelly
No research has been undertaken into the reasons for inter-departmental differences in the cost of answering parliamentary questions. The Treasury update the averages cost figures annually, the basis of the calculation having been explained by the Chief Secretary in a written answer on 22 May 2002,Official Report, column 417W. Departments are not obliged to use the average cost figures and can use their own internal costing systems to determine the cost of answering parliamentary questions.