Current mail opening delays

john smith made this Freedom of Information request to HM Revenue and Customs

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear HM Revenue & Customs,

I wish to know what your current delay is in opening mail. To be more specific, for a letter received today (9th August 2010), what date would you expect to open it?

As HMRC has several offices, I would like you to respond with the worst case - that is, the delay which applies in the office which has the longest delay in opening mail.

I ask because I have been advised by your helpdesk that the current delay is approximately 3 months between receipt and opening.

Yours faithfully,

John Smith

Request, FOI (Security FOI Team), HM Revenue and Customs

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Smith,
Please find attached a formal acknowledgement of your 9 August email.

Regards

Tony High
HMRC Freedom of Information & Data Protection Act Team
Room 1C/25
100 Parliament Street
London

[email address]

The information in this e-mail and any attachments is confidential and may be subject to legal professional privilege. Unless you are the intended recipient or his/her representative you are not authorised to, and must not, read, copy, distribute, use or retain this message or any part of it. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately.

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The Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs are not liable for any personal views of the sender.

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Request, FOI (Security FOI Team), HM Revenue and Customs

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Mr Smith

Please find the response to your recent Freedom of Information request
attached.

HMRC
Freedom of Information Team.

The information in this e-mail and any attachments is confidential and may
be subject to legal professional privilege. Unless you are the intended
recipient or his/her representative you are not authorised to, and must
not, read, copy, distribute, use or retain this message or any part of it.
If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender
immediately.

HM Revenue & Customs computer systems will be monitored and communications
carried on them recorded, to secure the effective operation of the system
and for lawful purposes.

The Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs are not liable for any
personal views of the sender.

This e-mail may have been intercepted and its information altered.

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

john smith left an annotation ()

I have subsequently spoken, again, to the Self Assessment Helpline. Once again they have confirmed that it takes 3 months to open mail. When I relayed the details contained within this response, the helpdesk agent told me it was an untruth.

There may be some room for manoeuvre with regard to definition of 'opening' mail - I suppose you could argue that slitting open the envelope counts as 'opening' the letter! Nevertheless, an amended tax return which I had sent some months ago had still not been seen by the relevant person.

George Handley left an annotation ()

I wrote to HMRC Newcastle on 4th February 2011 with an enquiry regarding missing/lost NIC contributions from 1998. I still have not had a reply
George Handley

Dear HM Revenue and Customs,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of HM Revenue and Customs's handling of my FOI request 'Current mail opening delays'.

I have reason to believe that the response given was not truthful. Today's news about HMRC mail handling delays during 2010 would appear to indicate that whoever responded to my query was not being honest.

I therefore request an internal review prior to referring this matter either to the ICO, or to the police.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/cu...

Yours faithfully,

john smith

HM Revenue and Customs

Dear Mr Smith

Thank you for your email below.

Normally, requests for an internal review should be made within 2 months
of the date of HMRC's response. However, rather than put you to the
trouble of resubmitting this request, I will arrange for an internal
review to be carried out and you should receive a response by 30 August
2011. I will keep you informed if any delay arises.

Mary Leeds
Freedom of Information Policy Adviser

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HM Revenue and Customs

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The information in this e-mail and any attachments is confidential and may
be subject to legal professional privilege. Unless you are the intended
recipient or his/her representative you are not authorised to, and must
not, read, copy, distribute, use or retain this message or any part of it.
If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender
immediately.

HM Revenue & Customs computer systems will be monitored and communications
carried on them recorded, to secure the effective operation of the system
and for lawful purposes.

The Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs are not liable for any
personal views of the sender.

This e-mail may have been intercepted and its information altered.

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Dear HM Revenue and Customs,

Thank you for responding. As you can imagine, I'm less than chuffed to know that my taxes are paying for this kind of obfuscation - so you 'open' mail to check there aren't any cheques in there, but then it might take a few months to 'action' the mail.

I must take the same approach with the nonsense you send me. Maybe I'll wait a few months before 'actioning' your letters.

It's bad enough that you provide such poor quality of service. A little honesty when dealing with the people who pay your wages wouldn't hurt.

Yours faithfully,

John Smith