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Civil Service (Efficiency And Work Rate)

Volume 986: debated on Friday 20 June 1980

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asked the Prime Minister, in the light of the fact that most Departments are now taking between four and five weeks to send interim replies and as long as three months for full replies to hon. Members, when their letters raise matters where the answers are known and readily available but constituents wish for a ministerial reply, whether she will request the Rayner committee to investigate the lack of efficiency and work rate of the Civil Service.

I doubt that an inquiry into this subject would be profitable, but I hope that the hon. Member will bring to the attention of the Ministers concerned any examples of excessive delay in dealing with correspondence. My colleagues all recognise the need to answer letters from hon. Members as expeditiously as possible.