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Volume 478: debated on Thursday 26 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 12 March 2008, Official Report, column 410W, on passports, what the reason is for the difference in current average processing time for straightforward, properly completed passport applications between each of the regional offices excluding London. (197457)

[holding answer 31 March 2008]: The amount of postal work received in each office in 2006 varied according to the local catchment area, transfers of work between offices to match short-term capacity to demand, and the office's capacity to deal with the applications received. The policy is to ensure that all straightforward, properly completed applications are processed within 10 days. In 2006, the average time within which applications were processed ranged from 3.4 to 5.3 working days.