HC Deb 18 May 2004 vol 421 c860W
John McDonnell

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Home Office questions were tabled between 6 January and 31 March; and how many remain unanswered. [167523]

Fiona Mactaggart

According to our records the Home Office received 2,769 parliamentary questions (PQ) between the period of 6 January and 31 March, the numbers that remain unanswered is 86 (3 per cent.).

Every effort is made to reply to parliamentary questions within the parliamentary deadlines wherever possible. Consequently the Home Office is currently in the process of introducing a new PQ system, the electronic parliamentary questions system (ePQS) to better monitor and manage the Department's performance.

The ePQS monitoring system has identified the bottlenecks in the PQ process and remedial action is being taken. As is usual with the introduction of any new IT system, performance has shown an initial decline. The benefits of ePQS are now being realised across the Department and performance is improving.