An IRD staffer speaks out

A (now former) staffer sent me a document detailing how bad things are now at IRD. The term omnishambles was used. The summary is below:

  • Major issues with validation processes

I worked in a call centre capacity and  this was a very sore point.  Part of the process at one point asks customers for their star sign. This is absolutely  100%  true. I had flagged this over and over and over with team leaders management etc.  I put this on the internal blog  a number of times and nothing being done. This was still in place when I left and probably still happening now.  Asking customers  for star signs is wrong on so many levels and should not be a validation question at all

This is not the only issue with validation  process and it is set up poorly with loopholes and  is extremely awkward and painful for staff who are asking the questions and customers who just want to get on with getting their issue sorted.

  • Lack of Coherence and accountability to get things done

-Huge wait times to get back to customers on simple written  queries or follow ups that need to happen.

-Customers unable to email documents through

-Chain of command process to ensure something gets done is extremely haphazard

-Good ideas from customer service agents not getting actioned or changed or listened to no formal process to move a good idea or change forward.

-Multiple different answers on complex issues that come up from senior technical advising staff

-Lack of first call resolution approach and being  which would avoid customer having to call again

-Removal of choice in how we correspond to customers in terms of what we will send out to them physically. IE  E ALERT notifications means we can’t send out post even if customer requests it.

  • Systems and IT (this may have changed)

New role out START  stage one :

                -Not simple

-Huge volume of bugs

-not user friendly for frontline on the phone staff more designed for off the phone teams

-WORKAROUNDS being used in brand new system

-Lack of training and communication of using START some people know other’s don’t

-AHT has increased not decreased

-Address and details screen not easy to use and missing equivalent features other software would have Address look up etc

-Note system is very poor and frustration point for customers who have had a lengthy conversation previously and record is not there.

  • Working for Families

The current administration process  of this is really, really , really  bad huge amounts of errors and stuff ups   the whole area causes great stress on many staff. A lot of money is being lost to inefficiency and system flaws  here,

I would recommend talking to  front line Working for Families frontline staff  who will all say the same thing.

  • Lack of anonymous tip off line staff

I have had so many calls where someone wants to report evasion/fraud  etc  but has dropped off  while on hold  waiting over 5 min or longer hold time to get to a colleague in that area. I know for a fact there are not many people on these queues

This is not good enough as someone who wants to do the right thing often gets jittery on hold and will hang up while waiting.

Tip off and investigations needs a  significantly better approach and would reap huge rewards for tax payers by tackling the black economy.

I can’t believe IRD asks people their starsign to validate them. It both fails as a secure measure (one in twelve chance of random guessing to get it right) but also many people won’t know their star sign.

The stuff on making it hard for people to report fraud is concerning. There should be a dedicated line with full resourcing.

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