Yesterday the Minister for the Cabinet Office published a report on Departments’ and agencies’ performance on handling Members’ and peers’ correspondence during the calendar year 2012.
Performance - and therefore the level of accountability varies - The Department of Health, dealing with 17,279 letters (this is from MPs & Peers, whose job it is to hold Government to account) responded within their target period to 98% of those letters. The Department for Education (16,413 letters) only reached 55%.
If I were being flippant I'd say that the Secretary of State for Education, Mr Michael Gove should have his report card marked, "Could do better". But this is a serious matter. He is responsible to Parliament for the performance of his Department - and should be ensuring that when MPs and Peers ask questions; raise concerns about individual cases; and issues that he is responsible for - answers should be given - not perhaps immediately (I'd love to see the pronouncements of the DfE and its Ministers based on evidence - and that can take time), but within the targets set down for the Department.
I hope the Education Select Committee and individual MPs & Peers will take up the issue of this failure to reach acceptable levels of response. Accountability matters!
The full report can be read at