STANDING ORDERS CHAPTER 8

QUESTIONS SEEKING INFORMATION

53 Questions to ministers or other members

 

Questions may be asked of:

 

(1)

Ministers on matters relating to public affairs; and

 

(2)

Other members relating to a bill, motion, or other public matter connected with the business of the House in which that member is concerned.

54 Questions on notice

 

1)

A member must give a question on notice to the Clerk in sufficient time, in the opinion of the Speaker, to enable it to be published in that sitting day's questions on notice.

 

(2)

The question must be in writing and signed by the member.

 

(3)

The reply to a question on notice must be given by delivering it to the Clerk. The Clerk must give the response to the member who asked the question and electronically publish the response.

55 Question time

 

(1)

Members may ask oral questions without notice (question time):

 

 

(a)

on a sitting Tuesday immediately following the Prayer, except where precedence is given to condolences under SO42 when question time will follow immediately afterwards; and

 

 

(b)

at 2.00 pm on every other sitting day.

 

(2)

Question time will last for 30 minutes or until 10 questions have been answered, whichever is the longer provided that:

 

 

 

(i)

where a question is ruled out of order it is, for the purposes of this Standing Order, deemed to have been answered; and

 

 

 

(ii)

only one question time is permitted each sitting day.

 

(3)

When question time occurs under paragraph (1)(b):

 

 

(a)

at 2.00 pm, unless a division is taking place, the Speaker interrupts the business before the House and the bells are then rung for one minute;

 

 

(b)

if a division is taking place at 2.00 pm:

 

 

 

(i)

it will be completed without interruption and the result announced;

 

 

 

(ii)

if the division is on a closure motion, and the motion is agreed to, the question or questions then required to be put to close the issue before the House will also be dealt with;

 

 

 

(iii)

business is then interrupted following the procedure in sub-paragraph (a).

 

 

(c)

any business under discussion and not completed at the interruption will be resumed immediately at the end of question time and any member speaking at the time of the interruption may then continue his or her speech.

56 Language of questions

 

The Speaker may require the language of a question to be changed if it seems to him or her that it is unbecoming or is in breach of the standing orders or conventions of the House.

57 Content of questions

 

(1)

A member asking a question must not:

 

 

(a)

offer argument or an opinion on the matter; or

 

 

(b)

give facts or names of persons, except those strictly necessary to explain the question

 

(2)

All questions must be direct, succinct and seek factual information.

58 Content of answers

 

(1)

All answers to questions must:

 

 

(a)

be direct, factual and succinct;

 

 

(b)

not introduce matter extraneous to the question nor debate the matter to which the question relates.

 

(2)

Subject to paragraph (1) and SOs 118, 119 and 120, a minister will have discretion to determine the content of any answer.