§ Andrew George
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many complaints were received against her Department in(a) 2001–02 and (b) 2002–03; and what proportion were investigated and concluded in (i) under 14 days, (ii) 15 days to four weeks, (iii) 29 days to eight weeks, (iv) 57 days to 12 weeks and (v) 12 weeks or more. 
§ Alun Michael
15 complaints about standards of service were made to the Department's Complaint Adjudicator during the 2001–02 financial year, and five have so far been made during 2002–03. There is no central statistical record of less formal complaints.
Defra aims to investigate service standard complaints within 15 working days wherever possible. However, due to the complexity of some cases it was not feasible to investigate them fully within that time. In all such cases, a holding reply was sent explaining the reasons for the delay and when the complainant could expect a full response.280W
The length of time taken to investigate and conclude the complaints was as follows:
Year Under 14 days 15 days to four weeks 29 days to eight weeks 57 days to 12 weeks 12 weeks or more Total complaints 2001–02 0 4 5 5 1 15 2002–03 0 1 4 0 0 5