§ Mr. Randall
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her policy is on using 0870 telephone numbers for inquiries by the public to the Department and its agencies. 955W
§ Ms Hewitt
[pursuant to my reply, 11 July 2002, c. 1092W]I can now provide the individual Chief Executive replies.
Letter from Julia Fraser to Mr. John Randall, dated July 2002:
Radiocommunications Agency does not use any 0870 telephone numbers for enquiries from the public to the Agency.
We do, however, have an 0845 local-call rate telephone number advertised as the number to call for members of the public wanting to report radio or TV interference, which connects to our main telephone enquiry point.
Letter from Desmond Flynn to Mr. John Randall, dated July 2002:
I am Chief Executive of The Insolvency Service and have been asked by the Secretary of State to reply to your question (2001/5280) on our policy on using 0870 telephone numbers.
The Insolvency Service is an Executive Agency of the DTI and operates from 33 nationwide locations. Each office has a local telephone number, rather than a central 0870 number, which together with an extensive catalogue of information booklets comprises our primary information-giving service.
Additionally The Service operates a central enquiry line from London with calls charged at the national rate.
Letter from Roger Heathcote to Mr. John Randall, dated July 2002:
You tabled a Parliamentary Question on I July 2002 to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry concerning the policy on using 0870 numbers for enquires by the public to the department and its agencies. I have been asked to reply in respect of the Employment Tribunals Service (ETS) which is an executive agency of the DTI.
The ETS does not use any 0870 numbers and has no policy on their usage.
Our public enquiry line and its companion minicom line are operated on 0845 numbers. Calls to these two lines are charged at the local rate regardless of where in the United Kingdom from the call originates.
Letter from Dr. J. W. Llewellyn to Mr. John Randall, dated July 2002:
The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has asked me to reply on behalf of the National Weights and Measures Laboratory (NWML) to your question regarding the policy on using 0870 telephone numbers for enquiries by the public to the Department and its Agencies.
The national Weights and Measures Laboratory (NWML) does not employ any 0870 numbers.
Letter from Claire Clancy to Mr. John Randall, dated July 2002:
I am responding on behalf of Companies House Executive Agency to your Parliamentary Question on the Department of Trade and Industry's policy on the use of 0870 telephone numbers for public enquiries.
Companies House uses an 0870 telephone number for our national public enquiry call centre. The decision to employ this type of number is consistent with the guidance set down by the Office of e-Envoy, which states that the choice of a national rate, local rate, freefone or premium rate number should be determined by individual business requirements. As a Trading fund the Agency has to cover the cost of providing services and to avoid cross subsidy. These factors led to the decision to use an 0870 number.
Letter from Caren Fullerton to Mr. John Randall, dated July 2002:
I am replying on behalf of the Patent Office to your Parliamentary question, tabled on 1 July 2002, relating to the use of 0870 telephone numbers for enquiries by the public.956W
The Patent Office does not use 0870 telephone numbers. It provides 0845 numbers to be used for enquiries by the general public, who are charged local call rates for their telephone calls. This policy, determined by the business requirements of the Patent Office, conforms with the e-Envoy-s Guidelines for UK Government Call Centres.
Letter from Martin Wyn Griffith to Mr. John Randall, dated July 2002:
To ask the SoS what her policy is on using 0870 telephone numbers for enquiries by the public to the Department and its Agencies.
In response to the above Parliamentary Question, please note that:
The Small Business Service's Small Firms Finance team contracts with EC Logistics who distribute Late Payment Guidance and other publications for the SBS via an "0870" number; and
The SBS' Business Services directorate uses an "0870" number for the following purposes:The "CONNECT" hotlinea) for Business Advisors—to enable direct contact for Business Advisors to the CONNECT team for booking equipment/technician for shows;for ordering CD-ROMS, technical advice, requests for presentation and clip finding service; andfor general advice and requests for literature.b) for small business customers—for advice on how they can access the CONNECT series via their local Business LinkThe Benchmark Index hotlinea) for Business Advisors—to enable direct contact with the Benchmark Index team for technical queries;for advice on questionnaires;for advice on the make up of data sets; andrequests for literature and other general support.And b) for our small business customers–sign-posting them to their nearest Business Link operator for access to the Benchmark Index and general help and information.The Small Business Service uses these 0870 numbers in accordance with DTI central guidelines.I hope this is helpful.