To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent estimate his Department has made of the average length of time taken to process an application for a Power of Attorney.
1 March 2021
As of 23/2/2021 the average time taken to process and dispatch a lasting power of attorney (LPA) was 57 days against the target of 40 days. The target includes a statutory four week waiting period. As a comparison, the October average came in at 61 days. The 40-day target was achieved in 2019/20.
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has seen an increase in the time taken to process an LPA since COVID-19 began impacting the workplace.
LPAs are paper documents that require a physical staff presence in an office to process and register. The number of staff available to attend the office to carry out the physical activities is significantly reduced due to COVID-19 and the need to maintain a COVID secure office through social distancing. Measures were introduced to focus on enabling as much remote working as possible and increasing the number of staff hours available in the office through overtime payments and weekend working.