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Departmental Officials (Telephone Inquiries)

Volume 990: debated on Thursday 7 August 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether persons employed by his Department who deal with the public by telephone are required to identify themselves at the citizen's request; whether any, and if so what, category of employee in his Department is forbidden to give his name at the request of a member of the public who speaks to him by telephone; if so, on what occasions and for what reasons; and whether he will instruct all those employed by his Department who have contact with the public by telephone to give their names at the caller's request.

Because the nature of the work differs between Departments, it would not be appropriate to make it obligatory for civil servants to give their names on request. However, no members of the Northern Ireland Office, or the Northern Ireland Departments are forbidden to give their names and they are encouraged to do so where appropriate, for example when follow-up action is required.