Letter: Wrong number in Whitehall survey

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your coverage of the survey of telephone response by Whitehall departments ('Telephone calls to Whitehall offices going unanswered'; Home News, 28 January) must have spoken to a wrong number as far as the Department of Social Security headquarters is concerned.

Our QCS Call Sequencer System, which monitors the number and duration of the calls we receive, shows that during the period of the survey, the Department of Social Security Public Enquiry Office dealt with an average of 61 per cent of calls made to it. Over the seven weeks in October and November, the highest weekly score was 77 per cent and the lowest (during the 'flu epidemic) 41 per cent, considerably higher than the dubious 27.5 per cent that was claimed by the survey.

Moreover, we are dealing in Whitehall with those people calling the Department of Social Security headquarters direct. Many choose to use the Social Security Freeline service throughout the country to have their benefit queries answered.

Yours faithfully,

STEVE REARDON

Head of Information

Department of Social Security

London, SW1

28 January

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