Frequently Asked Questions

What are Questions for Written Answers?

A Member who wishes to receive a Written Answer may indicate this my marking the Question with the letter 'W'. In the absence of such indication, Questions are put down for an Oral Answer on the first Sitting after the lapse of three working days (Saturdays included). Although Questions for Written Answers form part of the Notice Paper of the Sitting according to the above mentioned timeframe, the Answer shall not necessarily be given on that date. Furthermore, whilst in the case of Questions for Oral Answers there exists a limit of six Questions per Member per Sitting, no limit is imposed on the number of Questions a Member may submit for Written Answers.

Are Questions to Mr Speaker allowed?

Questions dealing with matters within the jurisdiction of the Speaker should be addressed to the Speaker by private notice. This means that no written or public notice of questions addressed to the Speaker is permissible and as such do not form part of the Notice Paper which is regularly distributed to Members of Parliament prior to every Sitting.

What are interim replies?

When a Minister is not in a position to reply to a Parliamentary Question by the deadline stipulated by the Standing Orders, he may reply saying that the information being requested shall be given in another Sitting. It is then up to the Minister concerned to indicate to the Office of the Speaker when this question should again be put on the Notice Paper in order to be replied. However this does not impede the Member who originally submitted the question from submitting a new question about the same matter.

What are the rules governing the submission of a Parliamentary Question?

No Member may submit more than 6 pq's for one sitting;

Ministries have 3 working days by which to reply;

The proper object of a question shall be to obtain information on a matter of fact within the special cognizance of the Member to whom it is addressed.

The right to ask questions shall be governed by the following rules:-

(1) A question shall not publish any name or statement not strictly necessary to make the question intelligible;

(2) If a question contains a statement, the Member asking it shall make himself responsible for the accuracy of the statement;

(3) A question shall not contain any argument, opinion, inference, imputation, epithet or ironical expression;

(4) A question shall not be asked about proceedings in a Committee which have not been placed before the House by a Report from the Committee;

(5) A question shall not ask for an expression of opinion or for the solution of an abstract legal question or of a hypothetical proposition;

(6) A question shall not be asked as to the character or conduct of any person except in his official or public capacity;

(7) A question reflecting on the character or conduct of any person whose conduct can only be challenged on a substantive motion shall not be asked;

(8) A question making or implying a charge of a personal character shall be disallowed;

(9) A question fully answered cannot be asked again

Last modified: 12/05/2022 10:16:13 PM


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