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Hansard to pulp paper processes

Parliament's official recorder plans switchover to digital

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Parliament's official recorder is planning to leave the paper age by processing ministers' written answers electronically.

In April Hansard will launch a Parliamentary Questions Project to process responses to written questions electronically, a spokesperson said.

The project is part of the three-year parliamentary Procedural Data Programme, which has a budget of £7.2m and is charged with delivering scheduled improvements by the end of March 2012.

No deadline has been set for full implementation following the Parliamentary Questions Project pilot, however. If successful, it will replace the existing system whereby government departments deliver ministerial replies to written questions on paper and by hand. Hansard staff would then scan the documents into a reporting system.

The spokesperson said the system is complicated, as each parliamentary question has a unique identity number and the answer has to be linked to this.

Projects already delivered by the Procedural Data Programme include a new system for producing House of Lords Business and the House of Lords Journal, including automating the production of the Journal Index, and a new system to produce the Register of Lords' Interests.

Those under way include a reform to the delivery of the Commons Order Paper, and a reform of the method by which bills and acts are administered.

This article was originally published at Kable.

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