HC Deb 08 January 2001 vol 360 cc470-1W
Mr. Willetts

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what targets exist for the performance of customer helplines run by his Department. [143521]

Mr. Rooker

Targets for the performance of the Department's customer helplines are as listed:

National benefit fraud hotline The line has an agreement to answer 99 per cent. of all calls offered.

CSA National enquiry line (CSA NEL) 80 per cent. of calls to NEL and client helplines (CHL) to be answered first time; 80 per cent. of all calls to NEL/CHL to be answered within 20 seconds; 95 per cent. of callbacks promised by the Agency to be made on the working day of request; No more than 20 per cent. of calls to be abandoned by the caller; 95 per cent. of customers surveyed on quality callbacks (following contact with NEL, client helplines and face-to-face) to be at least satisfied with the service they have received.

Benefit enquiry line (BEL) and customer care helpline Both lines have a target of aiming to answer calls within 60 seconds.

War pensions helpline The helpline has a target of answering all calls within 30 seconds. In addition it has it own internal target of answering 70 per cent. of all calls offered.

Public enquiry office To answer telephone calls from members of the public in an efficient and polite manner, ensuring calls are answered within 8 rings, where practical. To ensure that the average clearance of numbers of calls completed is at least 65 per cent. of calls offered in any given month.

Child benefit centre The current target for Child Benefit Teleservice is to take 42,000 calls per week or be at least 90 per cent. effective.

Minimum income guarantee helpline

Winter fuel payment leaflet order line

Winter fuel payments helpline

New deal for lone parents helpline

Pensions info-line

Mortgage protection line

Welfare reform order line

The inherited SERPS scheme helpline The above helplines are contracted out to commercial organisations through the Central Office of Information (COI). All are covered by the COI standard conditions of contract, performance criteria. These are: Unless otherwise agreed in Annexe C or Annexe D to the Contract, the following minimum levels of performance are expected as comprising satisfactory service on campaigns:

  1. (ii) On live operator services, calls to be answered at least 85 per cent. of the time by a live operator on the first attempt by the caller. (To be monitored through BT stats). Where automated overflow is provided the Contractor should ensure that this is minimised.
  2. (iii) On automated operator services, calls to be answered at least 95 per cent. of the time on the first attempt by the caller. (To be monitored through BT stats).
  3. (iv) Telephone calls to be answered within a maximum of 5 rings (COI accepts that the nature of the business means that the number of rings will vary, but requires the Contractor to ensure that this standard is achieved as far as is practicable).