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Voice Verification

Volume 479: debated on Monday 29 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what pilot schemes on the use of voice recognition technology are (a) being undertaken and (b) planned by his Department in Wales; (217646)

(2) what work is being undertaken through pilot schemes on voice recognition technology to make provision for those who contact his Department in the Welsh language.

[holding answer 10 July 2008]: Voice recognition technology allows the customer to respond to automated questions to ensure they are correctly routed to the service they require depending on the response.

We are planning a four-day trial of voice recognition technology (interactive voice response wizard) on an automated line to request claim forms for attendance allowance and disability living allowance later this year. There are currently no plans for any voice recognition technology pilot schemes in Wales.

For the interactive voice response wizard trial, the automated service will provide the customer with the option to obtain disability living allowance and attendance allowance claim forms in the Welsh language. As the trial is for a very limited period, Welsh speakers who contact the helpline will be routed to an adviser to arrange the issue of the Welsh language claim form.