Written Answers. - Customer Service Survey

Joe Walsh

Question:

560 Mr. J. Walsh asked the Minister for Social Welfare whether any customer services surveys have been carried out by his Department since his appointment; whether any such survey examined attitudes to fraud; if so, the specific relevant findings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17028/96]

My Department has carried out a number of surveys over the past two years with representative samples of people across the various schemes. The objective of these surveys is to obtain feedback on the services provided so as to ensure that, in delivering these services, the Department continues to be responsive to the needs of customers.

At the end of 1995, the Department commissioned and independent survey of social welfare customers and of the general public to assess the level of service provided and highlight areas where improvements might be made and, among the general public, to determine their levels of knowledge of and attitudes towards the Department and its services. Reactions and perceptions were sought across a wide range of issues which included customer service, attitudes to fraud, the question of identity cards and the issue of information dissemination regarding social welfare matters.

The findings of this independent research, have given an insight into the perceptions held by members of the public towards the services of the Department of Social Welfare. The first part of the survey which covered the attitudes and perceptions of people receiving social welfare payments, was published at the end of May 1996. Analysis of the second part which addresses the image and impact of the Department among the general public is almost complete and will be published shortly.