§ Lord Jopling
asked the Chairman of Committees:
What is the reason that franked envelopes have to be issued in small packages and signed for by Peers, whereas, for Members of the House of Commons, they are freely available on Members' desks and to their secretaries as well as in the Library. [HL3635]
§ The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara)
The rules governing the free postage scheme, which was introduced in 2001, have been kept under review by the Administration and Works Committee. In November 2001 the committee increased the maximum number of pre-paid envelopes that could be issued at one time from 50 to 100, and agreed that Members' staff who are pass-holders could collect envelopes on Members' behalf. In December 2002 the committee agreed to a request to add self-seal envelopes to the range of stationery available. However, the committee's view remains that it is appropriate to have rules in place to ensure that the overall take-up and cost of the scheme can be monitored. These rules will also assist the House authorities in implementing the decision of the House on 14 January to include the costs of the free post age scheme within the House of Lords' publication scheme, in accordance with the Freedom of 83WA Information Act 2000. The rules in the House of Commons are a matter for the authorities of that House.