asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the letter to the hon. Member for Newham, North-West, why it took his Department until 1 April to reply to the hon. Member's question tabled on 16 March for answer on 18 March; why it should take 15 days to interrogate the records held on the computer file; how long it took to obtain such information before the computer was installed; and if he will improve the speed and efficiency of his Department.
The reply to the hon. Member's question, which appeared in the Official Report on 1 April, was prepared by staff at present facing an abnormal peak in work load. The time taken to produce a reply is not therefore considered inordinate.Before a computerised system was introduced the information requested could have been obtained only by means of special survey.