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Departments: Correspondence

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what targets have been set for replies to letters from his Department’s offices; what targets have been set in Kent; and which of these targets have been met in each of the last 24 months. (141421)

Each of the agencies within the Department records correspondence from customers in a different way, therefore I have listed the performance information for each agency separately.

Child Support Agency

The information requested is in the following table. The target for replying to correspondence from members of the public and their representatives is to reply to 100 per cent. of letters in 15 working days. It is not possible to provide figures for Kent separately, but I can give you the figures for the South East area which includes Kent.

Percentage cleared in target

National

South East

April 2005

86.5

78.4

May 2005

88.2

84.4

June 2005

89.0

89.0

July 2005

88.5

88.0

August 2005

88.4

86.6

September 2005

88.4

86.0

October 2005

88.3

85.8

November 2005

88.2

85.3

December 2005

88.1

84.9

January 2006

88.3

83.7

February 2006

88.25

81.6

March 2006

88.6

76.9

April 2006

87.6

78.8

May 2006

89.3

79.2

June 2006

89.7

81.1

July 2006

90.1

82.2

August 2006

90.7

81.9

September 2006

90.4

81.0

October 2006

90.7

82.0

November 2006

90.9

82.9

December 2006

90.7

80.7

January 2007

89.9

78.2

February 2007

89.0

77.6

March 2007

88.2

76.9

Jobcentre Plus

The information requested is in the following table. The target for replying to correspondence from members of the public and their representatives is to reply to 100 per cent. of letters in 10 working days.

Percentage cleared in target

National

Kent

April 2005

79.10

94.83

May 2005

82.16

89.89

June 2005

86.82

94.64

July 2005

84.54

89.33

August 2005

83.93

89.47

September 2005

83.63

90.70

October 2005

80.81

94.92

November 2005

81.93

94.74

December 2005

79.80

90.63

January 2006

81 .09

91.57

February 2006

81.07

92.50

March 2006

79.51

94.02

April 2006

74.87

97.33

May 2006

79.73

89.22

June 2006

75.72

96.00

July 2006

75.14

97.00

August 2006

81.79

100.00

September 2006

82.21

96.25

October 2006

81.44

91.07

November 2006

83.07

92.62

December 2006

83.67

95.70

January 2007

86.13

95.48

February 2007

84.64

94.03

March 2007

87.25

98.44

The Pension Service: The target for replying to correspondence from members of the public and their representatives is to reply to 100 per cent. of letters in 10 working days. Information on correspondence is not collected monthly but I am able to provide the national quarterly figures for the last 24 months. This is shown in the first table. The second table gives the figures for correspondence from the Motherwell Pension Centre, this is the centre that covers the Kent area. It is not possible to provide figures for Kent separately as information is not recorded in this way.

Percentage in target

2005-06

Qrt1

77

Qrt2

77

Qrt3

88

Qrt4

86

2006-07

Qrt1

79

Qrt2

88

Qrt3

83

Qrt4

83

Percentage in target

2005-06

Qrt1

60

Qrt2

93

Qrt3

100

Qrt4

70

2006-07

Qrt1

93

Qrt2

96

Qrt3

90

Qrt4

83

Disability and Carers Service

The target for replying to correspondence from members of the public and their representatives is to reply to 100 per cent. of letters in 10 working days. Information on the time taken to reply to correspondence is not recorded monthly but I am able to provide you the figures for calendar years 2005 and 2006. These figures are the result of checking an annual sample of 384 cases and can be found in the following table. Figures for Kent are not available as information is only recorded nationally.

2005-06

Target

Achievement

Number of checks meeting the standard (percentage)

100

97

Average reply time (working days)

10

3

The Rent Service

The target for replying to correspondence from members of the public and their representatives is to reply to 100 per cent. of letters in 10 working days. Figures for Kent are not recorded separately.

Percentage

2005-06

2006-07

April

100

100

May

97

100

June

93

100

July

100

100

August

94

100

September

95

100

October

100.3

100

November

94

100

December

100

100

January

95

100

February

97

100

March

100

100

Debt Management

The target for replying to correspondence from members of the public and their representatives is to reply to 100 per cent. of letters in seven working days. Information is only available from April 2006 and figures for Kent are not recorded separately.

National—Percentage cleared in target

April 2006

49

May 2006

44

June 2006

40

July 2006

47

August 2006

50

September 2006

56

October 2006

49

November 2006

54

December 2006

53

January 2007

50

February 2007

53

March 2007

46

April 2007

58

May 2007

53

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

The target for replying to correspondence from members of the public and their representatives is to reply to 100 per cent. of letters in 10 working days. I am unable to tell you how HSE has performed against this target as records are not kept centrally. Figures for Kent are not recorded separately.

The Department’s target for replying to correspondence from Members of Parliament and Peers to Ministers is to respond to at least 90 per cent. of letters within 20 working days. The Department achieved 90 per cent. in both calendar years 2005 and 2006.