The administration of the Child Support Agency is the matter for the chief executive. He will write to the hon. member with the information requested.
Letter from Susan Park:
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive. As the Chief Executive is currently on annual leave, I am responding, with his authority, on his behalf. You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many telephone calls to the Child Support Agency (a) were received and (b) received the engaged tone in each month since July 2005.
The number of telephone calls made to the Child Support Agency which received an engaged tone from July 2005 to March 2008 is included in the attached table.
Further information on the Agency's telephony performance is available in Table 16 of the Child Support Agency Quarterly Summary of Statistics, a copy of which can be found in the House of Commons library or on the internet at the following link:
The Agency has shown significant and sustained improvement in telephony performance under the Operational Improvement Plan. In the year ending March 2008 the Agency received 5,369,000 calls from clients and answered 98% of calls available to be answered, with an average waiting time of twenty seconds, and with less than 1% of calls receiving an engaged tone.
|Number of telephone calls made to the Child Support Agency (old system and new system) which received an engaged tone from July 2005 to March 2008|
|Month||Client telephone calls||Number of telephone calls which received an engaged/busy tone|
|Notes: 1. Information includes old system (CSCS) and new system (CS2) telephone calls. 2. The agency does not limit its system capacity to take calls and service providers have assured the agency of sufficient trunk capacity. Clients will only hear an engaged tone as the result of a technical fault usually at network level. Clients hearing an engaged tone will often redial immediately and unwittingly add to the problem. Certain months have seen a disproportionately high number of such incidents.|