Telephone Services

Justice written question – answered on 31st October 2011.

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Photo of Stephen Lloyd Stephen Lloyd Liberal Democrat, Eastbourne

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much his Department has allocated to each telephone helpline funded by his Department in 2011-12; what the purpose is of each such helpline; and how many calls each helpline received in the last 12 months.

Photo of Jonathan Djanogly Jonathan Djanogly The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Pursuant to the answer given to Nia Griffith on 6 September 2011, Hansard, columns 380-81W, the Ministry of Justice has identified the following key characteristics to define a helpline:

That the telephone line provides tailored advice or guidance to citizens or businesses (as distinct from communicating simple, standard information, or providing a transactional service)

That the telephone line is citizen or business facing

Using this definition, there are currently four helplines funded by the Ministry of Justice, as follows:

1. Legal Services Commission Community Legal Advice helpline

This provides free help including specialist legal advice and ongoing case work relating to debt, housing, employment, education and welfare benefits, tax credits and family issues for those eligible for legal aid.

Budget allocation: approximately £23,000,000

Number of calls received in 2010-11: 631,221 (latest complete figures)

2. Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority helpline

This provides tailored advice on applying for criminal injuries compensation.

Budget allocation: £1,177,516

Number of calls received in the year to September 2011: 220,348

3. Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) Customer Contact Centre

This provides advice relating to OPG services, including the registration of Lasting Powers of Attorney; the supervision of Deputies appointed by the Court of Protection; and the Public Guardian’s role in adult safeguarding.

Budget allocation: £723,000(1)

Number of calls received in the year to September 2011: 228,567.

4. Court Funds Office helpline

This provides tailored advice to clients and stakeholders.

Budget allocation: £250,000(1)

Number of calls received in the year to September 2011: 68,900

(1) OPG and CFO are both self-funding organisations and consequently reimburse these costs.

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