To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department has taken to expedite requests for records of deceased service personnel during the covid-19 outbreak.
26 April 2021
Across all three Services of the Armed Forces there is currently approximately a six month backlog of requests for Service records of deceased personnel. The administration work associated with officials providing these records, which are primarily in hardcopy, can only be undertaken if physically present in the office. This has been impacted by reduced staffing levels because of Government Covid-19 restrictions requiring social distancing, local Tier restrictions, and staff shielding. Additionally, there has been an increase in applications received during the lockdown periods in the last 12 months, which has further contributed to a backlog forming. It is anticipated that as soon as restrictions are lifted, in line with the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, the backlog should start to reduce.