Feeds

Govt call centres fail to handle call numbers

119m calls ditched, say Lib Dems

Application security programs and practises

More than a third of calls to UK Government helplines fail to connect, according to information obtained by the Liberal Democrats.

It shows that since the beginning of 2003, more than 119m calls to Government departments about pensions, taxes and benefits ended in failure with callers either getting an engaged tone or abandoning the call because they had to wait too long. The worst offenders were the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and HM Revenue and Customs.

The Lib Dems warned that the real number of call failures could be much worse since many departments fail to keep up-to-date records.

The Government has introduced a host of e-government proposals in a bid to make it easier for people to contact government departments.

But according to Lib Dem Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, David Laws, the Government's direct line to the public is "failing".

"Over 119m phone calls from the public have been missed since 2003 - a colossal waste of people's time and an enormous frustration. Over one in three people calling Government helplines are receiving engaged tones or abandoning calls when they should be able to speak to an adviser...Most of the missed calls are to the tax credits hotline and to the benefits department. Because of Labour's reliance on means-testing, more and more people are having to phone in information, or check why their complex awards are going wrong. These calls are overloading the system, which is quite simply breaking down."

Earlier this week the DWP announced it was "realigning existing contracts" with BT to provide the department with a "modernised communications network to provide customers with a more reliable, better performing service".

"Over the next five and a half years, the department will be spending around £870m including VAT on services delivered by BT," said the DWP in a statement. "This will enable the department to modernise its infrastructure to improve services for customers who are often the most vulnerable in society." ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.