HC Deb 15 October 2001 vol 372 c813W
Pete Wishart

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what was, for each year since 1995, (1) the total number of(a) letters from hon. Members, (b) letters from members of the public and (c) parliamentary questions from (i) hon. Members and (ii) Lords dealt with by his Department; what percentage took (A) more than one month and (B) more than three months to provide a substantive answer; and if she will make a statement; [7038]

(2) the average response time for providing a substantive answer to (a) hon. Members' correspondence, (b) correspondence from members of the public and (c) written parliamentary questions in the (i) Commons and (ii) Lords. [7037]

Tessa Jowell

The effective handling of correspondence and PQs is an issue to which I, and ministerial colleagues, attach great importance.

General information on the volumes of correspondence received across Whitehall and on overall performance is published by the Cabinet Office. Figures for 2000 were published on 6 April 2001 Official Report, columns 324–28W and on 19 July 2001, Official Report, columns 454–56W.

Since 1 May 1997 my Department has answered 1,735 written questions tabled by hon. Members and noble Lords. In the House of Commons, 35 per cent. of named day questions were answered on the day specified and 53 per cent. of ordinary written questions were answered within one week of being tabled. In another place, 57 per cent. questions tabled by noble Lords were answered within two weeks of being tabled.