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ICAEW welcomes publication of contact centre performance figures

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The ICAEW has welcomed publication of HMRC contact centre performance statistics as part of ‘wider efforts to improve HMRC’s service standards and in particular highlighting concerns with the existing call centre performance’.

Data will be published quarterly, comprising ‘basic performance and management’ information and ‘customer experience results’, HMRC has announced.

The figures show that there were more than 22m call attempts in the quarter ended June 2012. Just over 15m calls were ‘handled’ (answered by an adviser or ‘dealt with successfully by an automated message’). 43% of calls were answered within two minutes, but 27% were not answered within 10 minutes.

Paul Aplin, chairman of the ICAEW Tax Faculty’s Technical Committee, told Tax Journal that call centre performance had been a major issue. Publication of the figures was ‘an important step in terms of transparency as we can now see whether – and by how much – things are changing as a result of the extra £34m call centre funding and 1,000 extra staff HMRC announced in August. Call centre performance has been major issue and this is a very welcome step in addressing it’.