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Government Departments: Telephone Services

Volume 502: debated on Wednesday 16 December 2009

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what responses the Contact Council received to the enquiries which it made of each Government Department in June 2009 on departments' plans for using 030 numbers in place of 084 numbers for helplines; and if she will make a statement. (302367)

[holding answer 30 November 2009]: The Contact Council has not directly asked departments to outline their plans for using 030 numbers in place of 084 numbers for helplines. It has, however, issued to all Contact Council members (representatives of central departments, local authorities and other bodies) a clarification statement on telephone number ranges in May this year. This statement explained the characteristics of the 084, 087 and 03 number ranges so that central departments in particular might make their own informed choice about which range(s) best meets the needs of all their customer groups.

Specifically in connection with this statement, the Council asked its central department representatives to confirm whether they retain any additional revenue as a result of using 084/087 numbers and to outline which ranges (not necessarily 03) best suit the services they provide to their customers.

Most major customer facing departments have answered these questions, and the remaining departments is in process of doing so. Once the outstanding response has been received the Council will analyse all response with a view to recommending ways of increasing the uptake of the 03 range where appropriate.