Parliamentary considerations

Parliamentary questions

Live Parliamentary questions (PQ) become the responsibility of the new Minister straight after the announcement of any machinery of government change, unless a later date is specified. On the assumption that staff will move with functions, answers to these parliamentary questions will be prepared by the same officers as before but sent to the Parliamentary Branch of the receiving organisation for sign-off by Ministers and forwarding to Parliament.

The following steps should be taken:

  • Parliamentary Branch of the transferring Department should pass details of all live PQs to the Parliamentary Branch of the receiving Department – for each PQ the text, MP, UIN and name and contact details of the official dealing with it
  • the receiving Parliamentary Branch should enter details of live PQs in its PQ system
  • the transferring Parliamentary Branch should tell policy officers who is responsible for PQs in the receiving Department and where to send their answers
  • replies should be filed by the receiving Parliamentary Branch in accordance with its current practice
  • the transferring Parliamentary Branch should brief the receiving Branch on past and expected future PQs and provide staff directory details so that the receiving Department can allocate new PQs
  • the transferring Parliamentary Branch should give details of the transfer of functions to the Table Office in Parliament, copying the receiving Department into the notification

Other Parliamentary business

The receiving Parliamentary Branch will need briefing about future Parliamentary business relating to newly acquired functions. Handover notes should include details of the following:

  • legislation going through Parliament
  • select committee and other committee inquiries
  • all notified business in the House of Commons
  • relevant timetabled debates and debates scheduled but not on Order Papers
  • forthcoming Parliamentary business already announced
  • scheduled written Ministerial statements
  • other developments pending but not yet announced