February 2014


I aim to establish a schedule of waiting times at your main customer service call centre: specifically regarding general enquiries.  For example on Mondays, from 8 to 10am, there is normally a high waiting time, from 10 to 12 it's average and from 12-14 it's low, etc.

Would you be able to provide a breakdown either in an Excel table or a document you could extract from your system that would be similar?  If you do not have the relevant data regarding waiting time, please provide the raw data of calls answered.

In summation, under the Freedom of Information Act of 2000:

1) What wait was experienced by callers, hour by hour for the whole year of 2013: from the 1st of January to the 5th of December?

2) If the data for question (1) is unavailable, please provide information of call waiting time per day.

3) If the data to question (1) nor (2) is available, please provide us with the raw data of all telephone calls answered in the period of the 1st of January 2013 to the 5th of December?


Successful - some information provided


The National Archives does not monitor calls at the granular level requested and we are unable to provide data in response to questions 1 and 2 as doing so would require the manual creation of an individual daily report for every working day from 1 Jan 2013 to 5 December 2013 - in total over 200 daily reports.  This would require an insurmountable amount of work to be conducted by staff at The National Archives and as such we must apply the exemption at section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act to that part of the request.

Section 12 of the Act makes provision for public authorities to refuse requests for information where the cost of dealing with them would exceed the appropriate limit, which for central government is set at £600.  This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 3 and a bit working days (or 24 hours of work) in determining whether the department holds the information, locating, retrieving and extracting the information.  We estimate that it will take us in excess of 24 hours to retrieve and extract the information in reference to questions 1 and 2 of the request.

However, we are able to provide figures for the total number of calls received in 2013 which gives the response rate and the categories we use for business purposes.  It also contains a breakdown of the time taken to answer calls [see attached table].


Contact centre calls received in 2013 (PDF, 0.04Mb)

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