Powers of Attorney

Ministry of Justice written question – answered at on 21 June 2022.

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Photo of David Davis David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average time is for the Office of the Public Guardian to approve a lasting power of attorney.

Photo of David Davis David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of lasting power of attorney applications initiated with the Office of the Public Guardian were resolved within (a) two weeks, (b) four weeks, (c) eight weeks, (d) 12 weeks and (e) more than 12 weeks in each year between 2018 and 2022.

Photo of David Davis David Davis Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of lasting power of attorney applications initiated with the Office of the Public Guardian were resolved within (a) two weeks, (b) four weeks, (c) eight weeks, (d) 12 weeks and (e) more than 12 weeks in the calendar year 2022.

Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

The current average time to register a lasting power of attorney (LPA) is 81.8 days. The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) target to register LPAs is 40 days. It should be noted that the OPG must carry out checks on receipt of the LPA before notices are issued, and then must observe a statutory waiting period of 4 weeks to allow for objections before the registration process can be completed. This statutory waiting period cannot be waived and is included in the calculation for the number of days to register an LPA. We know the delays are frustrating for customers and we are committed to reducing the time it is currently taking to register LPAs.

OPG staff are working day and night to tackle the Covid backlog. Frontline operational staff whose role requires them to be office-based have worked in the office throughout the pandemic and continue to do so. The OPG rapidly changed working practices and processes during the pandemic to continue to deliver their services. In 2020 to 2021, the OPG processed an average of 53,000 LPA applications per month despite the many restrictions in place. This rose to an average of 60,000 per month in the last financial year, reaching over 70,000 in March 2022. The OPG have also hired extra staff, which is having an impact, with the number of LPAs being registered each month back to what it was before the pandemic.

The below table details the proportion of the lasting powers of attorney (LPA) registered between 2018 and 2022 within each of the timeframes.

LPAs registered within:

2018-2019

2019-2020

2020-2021

2021-2022

2 weeks

0%

0%

0%

0%

4 weeks

0%

0%

0%

0%

8 weeks

91.2%

58.8%

1.2%

0.3%

12 weeks

8%

40%

65%

25.4%

Over 12 weeks

0.8%

1.2%

33.8%

74.3%

The below table details the proportion of the lasting powers of attorney (LPA) registered within 2022 (1st January to 31st May).

LPAs registered within:

In the calendar year of 2022 (1st Jan up until 31st May)

2 weeks

0%

4 weeks

0%

8 weeks

0.2%

12 weeks

0.8%

Over 12 weeks

99%

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