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People's voices heard on governement hotlines

Financial bodies see a flood of complaints hit their consumer hotlines with corruption the biggest concern

Bassem Abo al-Abass, Monday 27 Dec 2010
call center
Corruption line got more than 16000 complaints in two months.
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The last year has seen financial ministries and authorities launching their own hotlines for callers wishing to register complaints. The General Authority for Investment's (GAFI) and one specializing in incidents of corruption are the latest to field calls.

GAFI’s officials declined to reveal the number of complaints and enquiries received during the year. “We are currently updating the hotline service. We cannot announce a definite figure,” said an official at the office of GAFI’s chief, Ossama Saleh, who spoke on the condition of remaining anonymous.

An employee at the call centre, however, revealed the number of complaints could reach 25,000.

“We only receive calls and transfer it to the department relevant to the complaint or the enquiry.”

The call centre takes complaints from all the governorates as well as international investors.

The ministry of administrative reform's corruption line is a hit. Launched last September, it is also the newest.

In that short space of time, it has so far received 15,000 calls reporting incidences of corruption among civil servants, mostly to do with bribery, revealed an official statement last month from the ministry.

The oldest hotline is the Consumer Protection Agency's (CPA). It received roughly the same number of callers in the whole year as the one for corruption in a quarter of the time with 16408 calls. That takes the total number of complaints it has fielded in the last four years to 36,000.

Khalifa Adham, spokesperson for CPA, confirmed to Ahram Online that about 90 per cent of these complaints were resolved.

The National Organization for Social Insurance (NOSI), launched two years ago, received 12,000 calls. In 2010, complaints were little more than 12000.

In the World Bank's report “Doing Business 2011”, the drawn out procedures adopted by employees at the Tax Authority were criticized. However, the authority's centre of statistics reports only 500 complaints for the year. Thus number is expected to rise with the launch in 2011 of a new authority hotline.

Down at the bottom of the list sits the Egyptian Competition Authority's line which was launched this year and was only called 30 times. The authority's communication department describes these calls as varying between “complaints and suggestions”.

To make a complaint, call:

Investment Authority    16035

Corruption                   16117

Social Insurance          16217

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