Written Answers. - Departmental Technology.

Michael P. Kitt


107 Mr. M. Kitt asked the Minister for Finance his views on the use of answering machines in Government Departments and semi-State bodies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8078/98]

It is the practice in my Department to encourage staff to transfer calls in the first instance to a colleague or, if this is not possible, a voice-mail when absent from their desks. The purpose of this is to enable a colleague, where possible, to be of assistance to the caller or alternatively provide the caller with an opportunity to leave a message which should be returned at the earlier opportunity. My Department's recently published "Quality Customer Service Action Plan" includes a code of practice for staff on telephone use and sets standards for the way in which telephone callers to the Department should be dealt with. I would expect that similar standards would be applied in all Government Departments and offices.