Ministers Should Take Political Responsibility: Carter

by Desk Editor on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 — 2:12 PM

Ministers should answer written questions properly and not hide behind the technicality that legally departments were responsible for operational matters, Speaker David Carter said today.

When Parliament resumed at 2pm Carter said MPs had raised concerned about ministers refusing to give detailed answers to written questions as they were about an “operational matter’’.

Carter said such answers were “not helpful’’ and he took a wider view of ministerial responsibility.

This meant while ministers many not have legal responsibility for the subject they were being asked about, they still had a political responsibility and answers should be given where it was consistent with the public interest.

Ministers were free to question the validity of questions and point out they were not responsible for the matters, but it would help for them to be more fulsome in their responses, he said.

MPs then began Question Time.

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