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Departmental Correspondence

Volume 493: debated on Tuesday 2 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what procedure his Department follows for dealing with complaints received (a) by e-mail, (b) by post, (c) by telephone and (d) via his Department's website. (274525)

DEFRA has a Corporate Service Standard that complaints be dealt with within 15 working days of receipt.

The Department's aim is for complaints received by whatever means, i.e. (a) by e-mail, (b) by post, (c) by telephone and (d) via the Department's website, be dealt with where possible at the point of receipt.

Where this is not possible, the complaint is passed to the unit within the Department responsible for the area of work complained about to be dealt with there.

If a complainant is not satisfied with the outcome, DEFRA’s complaints procedure provides the complainant with the option to escalate the complaint as follows:

to the Department's impartial Service Standards Complaints Adjudicator for complaints about standard of service; or

to the Secretary of State for DEFRA or to a DEFRA Minister via a Member of Parliament for complaints about DEFRA policy or legal issues.