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Holding Pattern: Monitoring Update

Friday, February 14, 2020

This report is a monitoring update to our 2018 report that highlights income and disability assistance recipients are still not getting the timely service they need when using the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction’s telephone system.

Holding Pattern: Call Wait Times for Income and Disability Assistance, was a result of our investigation into the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction’s centralized telephone system and it’s impact on the applicants and recipients of income and disability assistance.

To address our findings, we made nine recommendations aimed at addressing staffing levels at the ministry, public transparency about telephone and in-person wait times, and the unreasonable strategy of deferring or underserving callers to mitigate excessive wait times. The ministry accepted six recommendations, offered alternative commitments to two recommendations, and advised us that it did not have the technical capacity to meet one recommendation, monitoring in-person wait times.