HL Deb 14 May 2003 vol 648 c35WA
Lord Jopling

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, since 10 out of the 17 Questions for Written Answer which have failed to receive an Answer after three weeks fall to be answered by the Northern Ireland Office, Ministers in that department will arrange special training for the officials concerned at the Civil Service College; and whether parliamentary guidelines that answers are expected to be given within two weeks will be respected in future. [HL2773]

Lord Williams of Mostyn:

I am pleased to inform the noble Lord that all 10 questions have now been answered.

The Northern Ireland Office endeavours to answer all Parliamentary Questions within the 14 day timescale. However, because of the large numbers of Parliamentary Questions in recent months, many of which have required co-ordination between several parts of the Northern Ireland Office and the formerly devolved administration, the 14-day timescale has occasionally not been met.

I would like to assure the noble Lord that the Northern Ireland Office recognises the importance of prompt Answers.