14 Jul 2012

Thousands of calls to IRD unanswered

6:15 am on 14 July 2012

Tens of thousands of calls are going unanswered at Inland Revenue because of poor management of recent changes, a union says.

The Public Service Association (PSA) says the department's own information is that in the 10 days from 25 June to 5 July staff dealt with 131,000 calls but failed to answer a further 70,000.

The union says this is the result of poor planning and poor management of changes at the department, where hundreds of jobs have been cut as a result of Government budget cuts.

The PSA says it is particularly frustrating for staff who warned management what would happen when jobs were cut, but who cannot now cope with the volume of work and are having to bear the brunt of the public's anger.

Inland Revenue Department is apologising for the delays and says it understands some people find them frustrating.

It says it has had some winter sickness among call centre staff and has been working to redeploy other staff to answer calls.