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The Minister for the Cabinet Office (Hilary Armstrong): I am today publishing a report on Departments and agencies performance on handling Members and Peers correspondence during 2006. Details are set out in the attached table. Figures for 2005 were published on 30 March 2006, Official Report, column 75WS. Departmental figures are based on substantive replies unless otherwise indicated.
|Correspondence from MPs and Peers to Ministers and Agency Chief Executives(1)|
|Department or Agency||Target set for reply (working days)||Number of letters received||Percentage of replies within target|
|(1) Departments and Agencies which received 10 MPs/Peers letters or fewer are not shown in this table. Holding or interim replies are not included unless otherwise indicated. The report does not include correspondence considered as Freedom of Information requests.|
(2) Office of the Third Sector and the Social Exclusion Unit are included from May 2006.
(3) DCLG was established in May 2006.
(4) Drop in performance caused by several planning campaigns and a higher volume of correspondence. New arrangements have been introduced to improve performance.
(5) The Tribunals Service was formed in April 2006 and incorporates the former Employment Tribunal Service.
(6) Database is unable to differentiate between letters from MPs/Peers and other correspondence, including FOI requests. Figures are therefore for all letters which received a ministerial reply. The AFPAA and DVA do not include FOI requests.
(7) Drop in performance caused by an increased volume of correspondence and the introduction of a new database in September 2006 to record and track correspondence.
(8) Drop in performance caused by technical difficulties following the implementation of a new handling system. Since August 2006, performance has increased to 93 per cent.
(9) There was a marked increase in correspondence in the first half of the year. In April 2006 a fully centralised system and changes in the correspondence handling system were introduced.
(10) Only includes figures from January to October when the Rural Development Service merged with English Nature and the Countryside Agency to form Natural England. Natural England is an NDPB so will not be included in future lists.
(11) New procedures have been implemented to tackle and improve performance from 2007.
(12) From 1 February 2007 FSA correspondence has been processed though the DH Customer Service Centre, which it is hoped will lead to improved performance.
(13) Active Communities Directorate included until May 2006, when it transferred to the Office of the Third Sector in the Cabinet Office.
(14) These figures are from February 2006 when a new correspondence team was established.
(15) The UK Passport Service became the Identity and Passport Service in April 2006.
(16) Drop in performance caused by complex correspondence.
(17) Figures are from 1 January to 2 April 2006, when the Employment Tribunals Service became part of the Tribunals Service.
(18) Database can not differentiate between correspondence received from MP/Peers and others so figure includes all letters receiving a ministerial reply.
(19) Figures are where the National Statistician replied on the Ministers behalf. Figures are for all correspondence not just that received from MPs and Peers.
(20) Figures are from January to 2 April 2006, when the Appeals Service became part of The Tribunals Service.
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