I am today publishing data on departmental performance in answering Questions for Written Answer (QWA) for the 2016/17 session. Written questions are an important way in which Members hold the Government to account, and the House has agreed that they should be answered within 10 working days (Procedure Committee, 3rd Report, Session 2009-10).
I am pleased that overall 93% of Questions for Written Answer were answered within 10 working days in the last session. This matches the overall performance in the 2015/16 session which was an improvement on the 2014/15 session where 91% of questions were answered on time. While I am encouraged by this performance, it is worth noting that the number of questions tabled compared to the 2015/16 session has decreased by more than 15% with the percentage of timely answers remaining static. This leaves scope for improvement, and I will continue to make clear to departments the House’s expectations and to stress the importance of timely responses.
As Leader of the House, it is my responsibility to make sure that all responses to QWAs are prompt and accurate, and it’s one I take very seriously. I will continue to publish this data annually to allow for proper scrutiny of departmental performance and to continue this analysis over time.
Due to size constraints, full details are set out in the attached table.