The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Angela E. Smith): I am publishing today a report on Departments' and agencies' performance on handling Members' and Peers' correspondence during 2009. Details are set out in the table. Correspondence statistics 2008 can be found on 2 April 2009, Official Report, columns 81-86WS. Departmental figures are based on substantive replies unless otherwise indicated.
|Correspondence from MPs / Peers to Ministers and Agency Chief Executives in2009|
|Correspondence from MPs / Peers to Ministers and Agency Chief Executives(1)||2009|
|Department or Agency||Target set for reply (working days)||Number of letters received||% 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) Includes BERR and DIUS. Following an increase in correspondence relating to the recession, a review has been undertaken to improve performance and recommendations are now being implemented. Performance rose to 73 per cent. by end of 2009.
(3) An external review was undertaken mid-year, from which an action plan was agreed. Performance rose to 73 per cent. by end of 2009.
(4) In 2009 DECC's correspondence was handled by a shared services system. DECC now has its own correspondence unit which will lead to an improvement in the handling of correspondence.
(5) A substantial increase in the volume of correspondence received by MOJ has contributed to a downturn in performance. Measures are in place to improve correspondence handling as a matter of urgency and these have led to a significant improvement. Performance rose to 86 per cent. by end of 2009.
(6) The drop in performance in 2009 is largely attributable to delays in receiving essential information. Measures have been put in place to improve our correspondence process as a matter of urgency, including systematic monitoring by senior management.
(7) Performance has been affected by a significant increase in all correspondence to the Treasury, creating a backlog of cases in the first half of 2009. This has been addressed over the course of the year and performance rose to 59 per cent. by end of 2009.
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