Select Committee on Public Administration Second Report


Submitted by the Department of Social Security

Thank you for your letter of 9 June to Rachel Lomax, about Parliamentary Questions which Ministers refuse to answer.

For all the questions in the list you attached information was withheld in line with the Code of Practice. I attach a table that sets out for each question the reason information was not given and the part of the Code that refers. I hope this is self-explanatory.

29 June 2000

Subject: Fraud (Ministerial Group)
Reason for refusal: Information relating to proceedings of Cabinet or Cabinet Committees not normally made public
Part II of Code of Practice: Para 2 - internal discussion and advice - refers specifically to proceedings of Cabinet and Cabinet Committees
Subject:Departmental legislation
Reason for refusal: Proposals for forthcoming legislation not announced before Queen's speech
Part II of Code of Practice: Para 15 Statutory and other restrictions - information whose release would constitute a breach of Parliamentary Privilege
Subject:Benefit Fraud
Reason for refusal: Information held on individual people is confidential
Part II of Code of Practice: Para 12 Privacy of an individual - unwarranted invasion of privacy (may also be unlawful under data protection legislation
Subject:Benefit Payments
Reason for refusal: Transaction fees payable to agents who provide services is commercial in confidence
Part II of Code of Practice: Para 13 Third party's commercial confidences - would harm competitive position
Subject:National Pensioners Convention
Reason for refusal: Not practice go give details of private meetings
Part II of Code of Practice: Para 14 Information given in confidence; Para 12 Privacy of an individual
Subject:Register of Members' Interests
Reason for refusal: Advice Minister received from Permanent Secretary is personal
Part II of Code of Practice: Para 2 Internal discussion and advice - internal opinion and advice

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