In 2014 the Treasury replied to less than half of letters from MPs

Report shows some departments falling seriously behind on communication

Budget red box


Today the government has published a report showing how each department performed in responding to correspondence from MPs and Peers in 2014.

Some of the numbers are shocking, with the worst offenders being:

The Department for Communities and Local Government, which replied to just 42 per cent of 8,574 letters within the target time of 10 working days


The Treasury, which replied to just 52 per cent of 8,242 letters within the target time of 15 working days


The Ministry of Justice, which replied to just 64 per cent of 3,419 letters within the target time of 15 working days.


MPs and Peers may write to government departments to express concerns raised in the community, or on behalf of constituents who want to raise a complaint or give feedback. The fact that so many of these letters go ignored does not suggest a great deal of community engagement.

Nor does it bode well for transparency and accuracy, as this kind of correspondence is vital for ensuring MPs have access to up-to-date departmental figures and information.

But others did an impressive job in responding to huge volumes of letters:

The Department of Health managed to reply to 97 per cent of 17,932 letters within 18 days.


The Department of Work and Pensions replied to 83 per cent of 16,542 letters in 20 days.


And the Foreign and Commonwealth Office replied to 88 per cent of 11,649 letters within 20 days.


Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter

4 Responses to “In 2014 the Treasury replied to less than half of letters from MPs”

  1. montypython

    The Institute for Government says “The number of civil servants has been cut by more than 70,000 since the
    Spending Review in 2010…..Particular departments – DWP, HMRC, MoJ and MoD – account for most of the reduction in absolute terms, given their size. The biggest headcount reductions in percentage terms have come at the most junior (administrative officers and assistants) levels.” (

    AOs and EOs do the heavy lifting on correspondence so it’s unsurprising that these figures have suffered in departments like DCLG where Pickles (and overpromoted yes-man Kerslake) were the happiest cutters of all. Neat symmetry in the numbers – 42% of DCLG staff wasted, 42% of letters answered on time. Of course no Ministers have been cut – still the same number of DCLG Ministers (six) as in 2010.

  2. Selohesra

    Who is writing all these letters to the departments?

  3. Cole

    We couldn’t have ordinary people – who pay for all this stuff – asking awkward questions, could we?

  4. Keith M

    Are you surprised? We are only wanted when it comes to elections. – the rest of the time we are treated with contempt. Democracy – where?

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