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Members and Peers Correspondence 2009

Volume 507: debated on Tuesday 16 March 2010

I am publishing today a report on Departments’ and agencies' performance on handling Members’ and Peers’ correspondence during 2009. Details are set out in the table. Correspondence statistics 2008 can be found on 2 April 2009, Official Report, columns 81-86WS. Departmental figures are based on substantive replies unless otherwise indicated.

The footnotes to the table provide general background information on how the figures have been compiled.

Correspondence from MPs / Peers to Ministers and Agency Chief Executives in2009

Correspondence from MPs / Peers to Ministers and Agency Chief Executives1

2009

Department or Agency

Target set for reply (working days)

Number of letters received

% of replies within target

Attorney General's Office

20

192

88

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills 2

15

17623

58

Companies House

10

96

100

Insolvency Service

10

794

74

UK Intellectual Property Office

10

481

88

Cabinet Office

15

1444

82

Charity Commission

10

214

78

Department for Children, Schools and Families

15

15256

78

Department for Communities and Local Government

15

9154

63

Planning Inspectorate

10

184

90

Crown Prosecution Service

15

483

96

Department for Culture, Media and Sport 3

20

3215

56

Royal Parks

20

30

93

Ministry of Defence

15

6254

86

Met Office

10

14

93

Service Personnel and Veterans Agency

15

198

94

Department for Energy and Climate Change 4

15

9071

51

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

15

12527

73

Animal Health

15

76

93

Marine Fisheries Agency

15

35

82

Rural Payments Agency

15

406

66

Food Standards Agency

DH Ministers replies

20

408

70*

20

584

95**

FSA Chair/CE replies

20

120

90

Meat Hygiene Service

15

22

100

* response to non-campaign letters ** response to campaign letters

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

20

10462

82

Government Equalities Office

20

1438

63

Department of Health

20

16008

93

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency

20

516

95*

20

22

77**

NHS Purchasing and Supplies Agency

20

33

94

*Agency Ministerial cases ** Letters sent directly to agency chief executive or where agency chief executives responded on behalf of Ministers

Home Office

15

9128

88

Criminal Records Bureau

10

933

99

Identity and Passport Service

10

1012

72

UK Border Agency

20

66320

78

Department for International Development

15

2013

95

Ministry of Justice 5

20

4554

63

HM Courts Service

20

729

65

HM Land Registry

20

52

96

National Archives

20

60

95

National Offender Management Service

20

1723

60

Northern Ireland Court Service

20

16

88

Office of the Public Guardian

20

220

82

Official Solicitor and Public Trustee

20

32

50

Tribunals Service

20

273

66

Northern Ireland Office

15

637

85

Compensation Agency

10

15

73

Northern Ireland Prison Service

10

79

77

Office for National Statistics

10

112

79

Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Schools

7

232

58

Office of Fair Trading

15

497

72

Office of Gas and Electricity Markets

15

200

77

Office of the Leader of the House of Commons

15

418

72

Office of the Leader of the House of Lords

15

63

92

Office of Rail Regulation

20

93

92

Office of Water Services

10

404

58

Postal Services Commission

7

13

77

Scotland Office 6

15

75

40

Serious Fraud Office

20

43

81

Department for Transport

15

9150

89

Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency

7

1486

100

Driving Standards Agency

10

185

99

Highways Agency

15

443

94

Maritime and Coastguard Agency

10

12

91

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

10

112

98

HM Treasury 7

15

16251

53

H M Revenue and Customs

15

5492

75

15

774*

81

National Savings and Investments

15

19

79

Office of Government Commerce

15

47

85

15

93**

93

* Local office and ‘delegated’ figures (where local tax offices have replied directly to MPs) ** Letters where chief executive has replied

Valuation Office

18

25

72

Treasury Solicitor’s Department

10

32

100

Wales Office

15

101

82

Department for Work and Pensions

20

18062

76

Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission

15

6352

99

Debt Management

15

43

86

Health and Safety Executive

15

117

66

Jobcentre Plus

15

2847

93

Pension, Disability and Carers Service

15

2292

84

1 Departments and Agencies which received 10 MPs/Peers letters or fewer are not shown in this table. Holding or interim replies are not included unless otherwise indicated. The report does not include correspondence considered as freedom of information requests.

2 Includes BERR and DIUS. Following an increase in correspondence relating to the recession, a review has been undertaken to improve performance and recommendations are now being implemented. Performance rose to 73 per cent. by end of 2009.

3 An external review was undertaken mid-year, from which an action plan was agreed. Performance rose to 73 per cent. by end of 2009.

4 In 2009 DECC’s correspondence was handled by a shared services system. DECC now has its own correspondence unit which will lead to an improvement in the handling of correspondence.

5 A substantial increase in the volume of correspondence received by MOJ has contributed to a downturn in performance. Measures are in place to improve correspondence handling as a matter of urgency and these have led to a significant improvement. Performance rose to 86 per cent. by end of 2009.

6 The drop in performance in 2009 is largely attributable to delays in receiving essential information. Measures have been put in place to improve our correspondence process as a matter of urgency, including systematic monitoring by senior management.

7 Performance has been affected by a significant increase in all correspondence to the Treasury, creating a backlog of cases in the first half of 2009. This has been addressed over the course of the year and performance rose to 59 per cent. by end of 2009.