HL Deb 30 April 1996 vol 571 cc140-1WA
The Earl of Balfour

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How the United Kingdom Passport Agency performed against its targets in 1995–96, and what performance targets they have set for the agency in 1996–97.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch)

We are pleased to say that the United Kingdom Passport Agency achieved all its targets in 1995–96. The targets for processing properly completed straightforward applications were met despite a 20 per cent. increase in demand for passport services with an average turnaround time for the whole year of 6.1 working days, well within the average target of 7 working days. The Passport Agency's financial target was to reduce its unit cost by 5 per cent. in real terms. The latest indications are that the Agency has achieved a 7.25 per cent. real terms reduction in its cost. Another notable achievement was the re-award of the Chartermark in December 1995.

During 1996–97, we shall expect the Passport Agency to continue to improve its standard of service to the public, while seeking further efficiency savings in its operations.