Section 12 of :
HANDLING CORRESPONDENCE FROM MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT,MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS, MEPs AND MEMBERS OF DEVOLVED ASSEMBLIES: GUIDANCE FOR DEPARTMENTS published by the Cabinet Office says:
The main points in the guide from a member of the public’s point of view as as follows:
- Departments should ensure that the handling of all correspondence, including correspondence from members of the public and Members of Parliament and Peers, is given the highest priority.
- A maximum of 20 working days is set for a full substantive reply
- Where this is not possible departments should issue a ‘holding’ reply apologising, explaining the reasons for the delay and saying when they can expect to send a substantive reply
- E-mails should be replied to by e-mail