§ Ms Hewitt
[holding answer 3 December 2001]: Information on the volume of correspondence from Members of Parliament received by ministerial agency chief executives, and Departments and agencies and performance in handling them is published annually by the Cabinet Office. The most recent report, covering 2000, was announced by the then Minister for the Cabinet Office on 6 April 2001, Official Report, column 325W.
Figures broken down in percentages of replies within each of the specified timescales are unavailable, however my Department monitors its performance annually by 258W sample for all correspondence (excluding ministerial) against the Whitehall standard "to answer all correspondence within 15 working days". The latest figure available is for 2000–01 when the department answered 95 per cent. of correspondence within this target. The volume of correspondence was estimated to be 81,726.
§ Mr. Burns
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many, and what proportion of letters received by the Department from right hon. and hon. Members between 20 June and 20 July were replied to in(a) under 15, (b) under 20, (c) under 30, (d) under 40 and (e) over 40 working days. 
§ Ms Hewitt
[holding answer 10 December 2001]: 936 letters were received by this Department from right hon. and hon. Members between 20 June and 20 July. The proportion of letters replied to in (a) under 15, (b) under 20, (c) under 30, (d) under 40 and (e) over 40 working days were as follows:
Percentage Under 15 65.96 Under 20 71.61 Under 30 84.04 Under 40 89.41 Over 40 100