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Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 27 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent steps the Government has taken to reduce waiting times for the issue of new passports. (249480)

[holding answer 22 January 2009]: The current waiting times for passports are reasonable and realistic and there are no plans to reduce the published turnaround times further.

The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) has undertaken to deliver 99.5 per cent. of straightforward online, partner and postal adult renewal and first-time child applications within 10 working days and to see 95 per cent. of callers to their public counters and interview offices within 20 minutes of their appointment time.

The Tiered Application System (TAS) guarantees to turnaround premium counter applications within four hours and fast-track counter applications within one week.

Latest available figures show that IPS has consistently met and often exceeded these targets, which are constantly monitored.