§ Ms Hodge
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what performance indicators and performance targets there are for measuring the performance of his Department in(a) answering letters from members of the public and (b) answering telephone calls from members of the public; how performance is monitored; and what are the latest figures for performance measured against the target set. 
§ Mr. Freeman
My Department aims to reply fully to all letters from members of the public within 20 days. Letters are referred to the appropriate secretariat, which is responsible for ensuring that this target is met. Central records are therefore not kept and could not be provided without disproportionate cost.
Telephone calls to my Department's switchboard are logged automatically and should normally be answered within 15 seconds. Data on the number of telephone calls and the time taken to answer is recorded. The latest information is as follows:Number of calls received (May 1995): 101,129Percentage answered within 15 seconds: 99.3 per cent.