§ Mr. Bercow
To ask the Solicitor-General what the target time will be in 2002–03 for(a) Ministers to reply to letters from hon. Members and (b) officials in her Department to reply to letters received directly from members of the public. 
§ The Solicitor-General
[holding answer 25 March 2002]: In my own Department, the Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers, the target for replies to letters from hon. Members is 15 working days from the date of receipt and 20 working days from the date of receipt to reply to letters from members of the public.
In the Departments for which the Attorney-General is responsible, details are as follows:
Crown Prosecution Service
In 2002–03 the target for ministerial replies to letters from hon. Members will be 15 working days from the date of receipt.
The Crown Prosecution Service has a target for responses to complaints from members of the public. The target for 2002–03 is to increase to 94 per cent. the proportion of replies to complaints which are made within 10 days.
Treasury Solicitor's Department
The Treasury Solicitor, as Chief Executive of the Treasury Solicitor's Department Agency, replies to letters from hon. Members concerning the business of the Agency. She will in 2002–03 continue to aim to do so substantively within 15 working days of receipt of such letters.858W
Only the Bona Vacantia Division of the agency receives appreciable quantities of letters direct from members of the public. It has targets for 2002–03 of acknowledging letters within five working days of the date of receipt and dispatching, in 80 per cent. of cases, substantive replies within 20 working days of that date.
Serious Fraud Office
Under the Citizen's Charter, the SFO has accepted targets for dealing with correspondence and agreed to monitor achievement. These targets are that all correspondence from members of the public should be disposed of within four weeks of receipt and that correspondence from hon. Members should be disposed of within three weeks of receipt. The SFO exceeds these targets in virtually all instances. Most correspondents receive a reply within a single working week.