To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to improve his Department's response times to correspondence from members of the public.
The Government recognises the importance of responding to members of the public in an effective and timely manner, and the Cabinet Office published an updated Guide to Handling Correspondence for government departments and agencies in July 2021.
The guidance reasserts the standards for handling correspondence, including a 20 working day deadline for departments to respond to members of the public, criteria outlining when a response to a member of the public is required, and when a piece of correspondence from a member of the public should be transferred to another department. Following publication of the updated guidance, all departments have been reminded that they must follow the processes outlined in the guidance.
In April 2021, 72% of Treasury replies were answered within 20 working days. This has increased to 77% as of October 2021 and we are continuing to make improvements to response times.