Photo of Francis Maude

Francis Maude (The Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General; Horsham, Conservative)

I am today publishing a report on Departments’ and agencies’ performance on handling Members’ and peers’ correspondence during the calendar year 2011. Details are set out in the table below. Correspondence statistics for 2010 can be found on 28 March 2011, Official Report, 1WS.

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 MP/Peers to Ministers and Agency Chief Executives 2011
Correspondence from MPs/Peers to Ministers and Agency Chief Executives (1) 2011
Department or Agency Target set for reply (working days) Number of letter received % of replies within target
Attorney General’s Office 20 318 92
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills 15 14,857 82
- Companies House 10 134 100
- Insolvency Service 10 49 88
- Land Registry(2) 15 134 36
- Met Office 10 14 83
- Skills Funding Agency 10 240 85
Cabinet Office 15 3,988 63
Charity Commission 15(3) 133 84
Department for Communities and Local Government(4) 10 12,680 65
- Planning Inspectorate 7 399 95
Crown Prosecution Service 20 411 97
Department for Culture, Media and Sport(5) 20 5,913 96
- Royal Parks 10 28 100
Ministry of Defence 15 6,315 81
- Service Personnel and Veterans Agency(6) 15 67 93
Department for Education(7) 15 18,666 39
Department of Energy and Climate Change 15 7,560 82
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 15 12,069 80
- Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency 15 174 87
- Rural Payments Agency 15 222 81
Food Standards Agency      
DH Ministers replies 20 214 99
FSA Chair/CE replies 20 121 89
Foreign and Commonwealth Office 20 10,402 87
Department of Health 20 18,686 99
- Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency 20 422 98
Home Office(8) 15 9,878 57
- Criminal Records Bureau 15 727 97
- Identity and Passport Service 10 1,206 81
- UK Border Agency 20 48,712 90
Department for International Development 15 3,894 97
Ministry of Justice 15 8,608 70
- HM Courts Service and Tribunals Service 15 846 86
- National Archive 15 11 91
- National Offender Management Service 15(*) 20(**) 1,077 342 73 83
- Office of the Public Guardian 15 198 95
- Official Solicitor and Public Trustee 15 47 100
(*) Where Ministers replied      
(**) Where CEO replied      
Northern Ireland Office 15 485 86
Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Schools 15 136 90
Office of Fair Trading 15 665 88
Office of Gas and Electricity Markets 15 285 67
Office of the Leader of the House of Commons 15 171 90
Office of the Leader of the House of Lords 15 159 90
Office of Rail Regulation 20 47 88
OFWAT (Water Services Regulation Authority) 10 93 76
Scotland Office 15 144 84
Serious Fraud Office 20 30 83
Department for Transport 15 11,766 51(9)
- Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency 7 1,549 99
- Driving Standards Agency 10 103 98
- Highways Agency 15 367 96
- Maritime and Coastguard Agency 10 29 83
- Vehicle and Operator Services Agency 10 84 93
HM Treasury 15 14,453 62
- H M Revenue and Customs(10) 15 2,705 48
- HMRC CEO(*) 15 7,715 36
(*) Cases where the HMRC’s Chief Executive has replied directly, rather than Ministers      
Treasury Solicitor's Department 10 17 100
Wales Office 15 75 87
Department for Work and Pensions 20 24,883 94
- Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission(*) 15 3,058 99
- Debt Management(*) 15 13 90
- Health and Safety Executive(*) 15 124 93
- Jobcentre Plus(*) 15 2,753 94
- Pension, Disability and Carers Service(*) 15 2,133 100
(*) Letters sent direct to Chief Executive/Officials      
(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)Drop in performance was due to significant increase in correspondence from February - April on property fraud, alongside a change in Chief Executive. Performance for the remainder of 2011 rose to 50% with October to December at 63% (3)Response target 15 working days with effect from 1 April 2011. (4)Response target reduced to 10 working days with effect from May 2010. Performance against 15 working days was 85% (5)DCMS also monitor Ministerial correspondence to the following Departmental targets: 2 working days - 41% of responses sent. 10 working days - 79% of responses sent (6)Agency wound up with effect from 16 June 2011. (7)Between January and June 2011, the Department cleared a substantial backlog of correspondence following a 20% increase in correspondence overall since May 2010. For the January-June period 34% of correspondence was sent within the 15 day target, and 47% within 20 days. The Department has now put in place a new system to improve quality and deal with sustained higher volumes of correspondence. Between July and December 47% of letters were sent within the 15 day target, and 66% of letters were sent within 20 days. The Department expects improvements in performance to continue in 2012. (8)Includes the Government Equalities Office. (9)This decrease in performance is due to a number of factors - including an overall increase in correspondence volumes of 24%, introduction of a new correspondence handling system, and departmental re-structuring. A number of measures have now been put in place to improve performance, including improved reporting arrangements; process efficiencies and an increased focus on clearance. (10)Correspondence often about complex individual tax matters hence delays in replying. Improvements in place to improve performance.

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