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Departmental Correspondence

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 13 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) letters and (b) e-mails received by his Department had not been responded to as at 15 December 2008. (244712)

The information is as follows.

(a) The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of Departments in replying to Members/peers correspondence. Information relating to 2008 will be published as soon as it has been collated. The report for 2007 was published on 20 March 2008, Official Report, columns 71-74WS. Reports for earlier years are available in the Library of the House. When responding to all correspondence the NIO abides by the guidance as set out in “Handling correspondence from MPs, Lords, MEPs and Members of Devolved Assemblies” which was published by the Cabinet office in July 2005.

(b) In respect of e-mails, the NIO is unable to provide the information within the disproportionate cost limit as to do so would require gathering information from every official in the Department.