Federal program to employ new workers to answer phones and help customers at understaffed agency
There soon will be employees answering phones and assisting residents over the phone at the Department of Revenue and Taxation thanks to a creative solution of interagency partnership.
Deputy Chief of Staff Rose Ramsey is coordinating solutions to the top concern of residents calling the Customer Service Hotline: the answering of phones at DRT.
“This hotline is really helping us to identify the problems and hone in on solutions,” Governor Eddie Baza Calvo said. “We are being accountable to the public and residents’ demands. We may not solve all the problems over night, but that won’t stop us from trying.”
Governor Calvo appointed Ramsey to oversee the hotline and authorized her to hold agency heads accountable for customer complaints and concerns. There have been 97 complaints taken since the hotline was fully operational April 14, 2011.
After reviewing the action reports generated from residents’ calls, Ramsey found the recurring problem with DRT phones not being answered. She immediately discussed the matter with DRT Director John Camacho and Deputy Director Marie Benito.
Camacho and Benito called their division heads and supervisors together to identify the problems and find solutions. The first problem is no secret. The agency is severely understaffed with a high volume of traffic. The supervisors, however, offered in house solutions to improve phone call response. Still, they found those measures will not suffice.
“We’ve always known Revenue and Taxation employees are just inundated and overwhelmed with work,” Governor Calvo said. “In these times of scarce government resources, the key was to find a creative solution to the growing problems.”
Ramsey and Benito then approached Agency for Human Resource Development Director Frank Roberto, asking what programs are available to help DRT. Roberto quickly put together a training program for 10 participants using federally-funded Workforce Investment Act dollars. Five of these new participants now will undergo training at DRT and soon will be answering phones and helping customers with services. The other five will follow shortly after.
“This is really a win-win-win,” Governor Calvo said. “We’re providing solutions to the phone situation, we’re helping the employees of Rev and Tax, and we’re giving work and earning opportunities to people. These participants, who have been unemployed, are now receiving a paycheck plus experience in the world of work. This is a great example of how listening to people’s problems, having a positive attitude and working together leads to real solutions.”
Ramsey and her team, working with agency heads, have provided other solutions to residents who have called in.

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