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Passports: Lost Property

Volume 459: debated on Monday 30 April 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of passports dispatched by courier did not arrive at their destination in the last period for which the figures are available; what those figures were in the last comparable period prior to the contract being awarded to couriers; if he will ensure that security of delivery is the paramount consideration in re-awarding the contract; and if he will make a statement. (133141)

For the 12 month period ending January 2007, 728 passports have been confirmed as lost while in the delivery process. This equates to 0.011 per cent. of passports delivered. Secure Delivery commenced in February 2004, and the last period of data available for the previous Royal Mail arrangements is for 2003. In that year, 3,593 passports were recorded as lost in the delivery process, which equates to 0.065 per cent.

Secure Delivery has therefore seen a reduction of over 80 per cent. in the number of passports lost in this way.

Security of delivery is the paramount consideration in the current arrangements, and all deliveries can be tracked from collection to the point of delivery. The new contract will balance the need to provide a secure delivery service with the need to provide value for money and high levels of customer service.