Questions and answers

IN your news brief headlined ‘Departmental responsibility’ (September 9), it was stated “the Department of Health declined to answer more than half of all parliamentary questions (PQs) sent last year, claiming it no longer had responsibility for the issues raised” and that “Hawkins House was unable to answer 3,179 of the queries”.

The PQs referred for answer to other bodies (as set out in the department’s annual report for 2009) were questions concerning operational matters which are the statutory responsibility of the HSE or other agencies. Consequently, it is appropriate that the questions be referred to the responsible agency and that a reply issue directly to the relevant TD. This is the practice followed by other departments also.

Róisín Heuston

Department of Health and Children

Hawkins House

Dublin 2

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