Departments: Complaints

Northern Ireland written question – answered on 5th March 2007.

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Photo of David Laws David Laws Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

(1) how many complaints were received by the Department and executive agencies in (a) 1997-98, (b) 2001-02, (c) 2005-06 and (d) 2006-07 to date;

(2) how many independent bodies existed to hear appeals on decisions made by his Department and executive agencies in (a) 1997-98, (b) 2001-02, (c) 2005-06 and (d) 2006-07 to date;

(3) how many staff worked in dedicated complaints units in the Department and executive agencies in (a) 1997-98, (b) 2001-02, (c) 2005-06 and (d) 2006-07 to date.

Photo of Peter Hain Peter Hain The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, The Secretary of State for Wales

The number of complaints received by my Department and its executive agencies is not recorded in a comparable basis. However, from records that are readily available, I can provide the following information:

Number
1997-98 9
2001-02 24
2005-06 90
2006-07(1) 158
(1) To date.

The number of independent bodies which existed to hear appeals on decisions made by my Department and its agencies is as follows:

Number
1997-98 2
2001-02 2
2005-06 4
2006-07(1) 5
(1) To date.

In my Department and its agencies no member of staff works in a dedicated unit dealing solely with complaints. This would be done in addition to other duties. The only records my Department and its agencies hold in relation to the number of staff who work in a dedicated complaints unit is as follows:

Number
1997-98 1
2001-02 1
2005-06 1
2006-07(1) 1
(1) To date.

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