Headlines: June 15th, 2001

Liverpool Direct, the City Council’s contact centre, has won the prestigious 2001 Prize for Public Management.This recognition comes on top an award naming the authority as one of the country’s most visionary organisations and a string of accolades from senior Government officials.

The latest award, from by The Office for Public Management, celebrates an outstanding achievement by the city council in turning around service delivery through Liverpool Direct.

The Call Centre has transformed the way the public deals with the council by providing a first class service that rivals the best in the private sector.

Already the largest council call centre in the UK, Liverpool Direct takes a million calls a year and is set to expand further under a 300 million pound partnership with BT. It is regarded by some in Whitehall as a model for future local government.

Judges were impressed by the high standard of professionalism among the Centre’s advisors who are experienced local government officials specially trained to deal with a wide range of council enquiries. They also praised the emphasis on customer relations made possible with a multi-million pound ‘Customer Relationship Management’ computer system which provides individual accounts for each customer, slashing red tape and minimising waiting times

Previous prize-winners include Knowsley Council for their delivery of the New Deal (2000), Newcastle Benefits Agency and Sussex Police.