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Departmental Correspondence

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 29 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his Department's average response time to a letter received from (a) an hon. Member and (b) a member of the public was in each of the last three years. (251443)

The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of Departments in replying to Members' correspondence. The report for 2007 was published on 20 March 2008, Official Report, columns 71-74WS. Information for 2008 is currently being collated and will be published as soon as it is ready. Reports for earlier years are available in the Library of the House.

DFID does not routinely collate data on average time taken to respond to letters from members of the public, and this information cannot be provided within the disproportionate cost limit.

DFID aims to respond to all written correspondence from members of the public within 15 working days. Information on DFID's performance against this target in 2008 is currently being collated and will be published in our 2009 Annual Report. Data for 2007 can be found in our Annual Report, section 10.12, at

Data for 2006 were not published. However in that year DFID's Public Enquiry Point handled 1,754 letters, of which 88 per cent. were answered within the 15 day target.