False START at IRD
Inland Revenue’s new IT system, implemented in February for their GST services, has been a disappointment. According to official data from IRD, the time spent handling GST related enquiries increased by 50% when the system was first introduced in February earlier this year. As of August, months after implementation, there was still a 20% increase in wait times compared to the previous year.
The point of investing in a new IT system was to make services more efficient at IRD, but this data shows taxpayers are receiving a worse service after the new system was introduced.
Many callers can’t even get to the hold tone. When the system was introduced in February, it faced so much pressure that nearly 2000 callers to the GST line were disconnected without even being put on hold. In the two months prior to implementation, that didn’t happen once.
Over 10,000 calls to the GST line were disconnected in May because IRD systems simply couldn’t cope. Inland Revenue either needs to train existing staff more thoroughly, or bring in additional staff during months they know will be busy. How the IRD is proposing to cut 1,500 jobs in this environment is astounding.
See the IRD's OIA response below: