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DHSS system not working - Brady

9 May, 2013 - by Mickey Brady

Sinn Féin Social Welfare spokesperson Mickey Brady MLA has voiced concerns over the new telephone system currently in use in DHSS offices.

The Newry/Armagh MLA said:

“In recent days I have been prevented from following up on people’s benefit queries due to the new telephone system that the department have employed.

“I have tried on numerous occasions to speak directly to someone from the department but after spending 15 minutes trying to get through, I am being told that due to data protection they are unable to discuss individual cases with me.

“While I fully understand that the issue with data protection is important, this does not allow for the fact that I am an elected representative and acting on behalf of clients.

I have been dealing with people and their benefits concerns for over 30 years now and people who are contacting constituency offices expect us to be able to try and resolve issues for them but this current system is actually hampering our efforts.

“I will be bringing my concerns to the Department of Social Development Committee this week to try and ensure that the department adopts a more common sense approach that would allow elected representatives to resolve issues by communicating directly with the Social Services offices.”

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