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News : Presidency Eyes Consistent Hotline Performance
Johannesburg, March 31, 2014 -- The quality of case resolutions for the Presidential Hotline must be improved, the Presidency says.
A strategic change of tack in the first few years has resulted in improved case resolution figures for the Presidential Hotline, which launched in 2009, says the Presidency.
Cabinet recently announced that 94.7% of cases reported to the hotline were resolved last year, compared to 87.4% in 2012 and 77.7% in 2011. In the hotline's first year, from September 2009, case resolution stood at 64%, according to Cabinet.
The hotline logged 75 873 queries and complaints in its first year and this steadily climbed to reach 183 445 cases in 2013.
Bernadette Leon, head of frontline service delivery monitoring and support at the Presidency, says high case resolution can be attributed to a closer relationship with government departments.
Leon notes senior management within government departments were tasked with monitoring complaints, which led to the sharp increase in case resolution figures over the years.
"We insisted that complaints management must be elevated to a strategic issue within departments, provinces and municipalities.
"We then set a minimum performance target of 80% resolution and produced regular score cards on the performance of every department against this target and then presented this information to the directors-general forums, to the president's Coordinating Committee and to Cabinet," she says.
Leon says the 30-person strong hotline call centre is based at the State Information Technology Agency's (SITA's) premises in Centurion, and the agency was subjected to "stronger performance management and monitoring" in a bid to improve results.
"We started collecting more data about their running of the call centre so that we can assess continuously where the areas of weakness are and then work with them to introduce systems or work process changes to optimise the running of the call centre," she says.
Government departments are also notified of good and bad practices, according to Leon, and the Presidency intervenes if complaints are deemed "serious or urgent".
Although case resolution remains a priority, says Leon, the quality of resolutions could still improve.
The Presidency is conducting surveys to gauge citizens' satisfaction after logging complaints, and more consistency is needed.
"From the initial surveys, some departments are scoring a high 70% satisfaction rating from citizens and for some a low 51%."
Leon adds that the hotline will look to improve its speed of resolution, communication with complainants, and relevance of its solutions as it aims for better quality.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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