Members: Correspondence

Home Office written question – answered on 19th July 2022.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what percentage of correspondence from hon. Members received by her Department's MP Account Manager in the last three months (a) received a reply within 20 days and (b) has not received a reply; if she will put in place a new mechanism for hon Members to escalate cases where there is a delay in responding beyond the 20 working day target; what estimate she has made of the level and extent of delay in responding to hon. Members on cases relating to (i) Ukraine, (ii) Afghanistan and (iii) other countries.

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 Hon. Members written correspondence within 20 working days.

Performance against target has been impacted by a significant increase in the volume of correspondence received, including the unprecedented amount of correspondence about the situation in Afghanistan and more recently in Ukraine.

The Department continues to prioritise enquiries related to Ukraine and recognises it has not been able to meet service standard in other cases. Actions are being taken to clear backlogs and drive-up performance.

Members can escalate urgent and compassionate cases via regular engagement surgeries with the MP Engagement team.

The Department continues to recruit additional resources and has recently been loaned staff from non-operational areas to assist in clearing the backlogs. A detailed recovery plan to support a return to an acceptable service standard is being prepared.

Data about intake and performance in answering Hon. Members correspondence are published quarterly with the latest Quarter available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/customer-service-operations-data-q1-2022

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