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Holding Pattern: Call Wait Times for Income and Disability Assistance

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Holding Pattern: Call Wait Times for Income and Disability Assistance is the report of the Ombudsperson’s systemic investigation into the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction’s centralized telephone system and its impact on the applicants and recipients of income and disability assistance.

The Ombudsperson initiated the systemic investigation in July 2017 in response to a range of complaints about long wait times, disconnected calls, call time limits, and other challenges recipients of income and disability assistance face in communicating with the ministry by telephone.

Holding Pattern resulted in nine recommendations for the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction to improve the transparency, reliability of public reporting, telephone service quality and timeliness of the ministry’s service.

The ministry has fully accepted six of the Ombudsperson’s nine recommendations and committed to make improvements that partially address the other three recommendations. The ministry outlined their rationale for doing so in their letter to us, which is included as an appendix to Holding Pattern.

The Ombudsperson recently published a monitoring update of the ministry’s implementation of the recommendations.

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