Members: Correspondence

Home Office written question – answered on 12th February 2021.

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Photo of Rebecca Long-Bailey Rebecca Long-Bailey Labour, Salford and Eccles

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of her Department's efficiency in responding to Members of Parliament correspondence in relation to immigration casework.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The Department works to a target of responding to 95% of MPs written correspondence within 20 working days. Performance has been impacted by a very significant increase in the volume of correspondence received, alongside the need for Ministers and officials to instigate a remote process for drafting and signing correspondence during the period of COVID-19 restrictions.

The Department recognises it has not been able to meet the service standard in some cases but has implemented an action plan to clear backlogs and drive up performance.

Staff unable to perform front facing roles in the Department have been redeployed to assist in clearing MPs correspondence backlogs. The Department are also contacting MPs offices by telephone to offer to close urgent cases by telephone, whilst continuing to work through the backlog and to offer regular engagement surgeries to discuss and resolve some of the enquiries they have made.

The Department uses a workflow tool which records all Operational MPs correspondence. The Department runs reports each day which summarise the daily situation in relation to intake and output and the age of each piece of MPs correspondence. The report also monitors the daily progress of output towards the weekly 95% target.

Presently different areas of the Department work on different IT systems for Correspondence, but the Department is undergoing a transfer so all Correspondence is on one system to help improve efficiency. This should be completed in 2021.

The latest published data on UKVI performance against the service standard, which includes data up to and including the end of quarter 3-2020/21, is held at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/customer-service-operations-data-november-2020.

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