Call centre paid €3.58m to handle property tax queries
AN OUTSOURCING company was paid €3.58m last year to provide call centre services for both the local property tax and household charge.
The company Abtran, which describes itself as a "business process outsourcer" has handled more than a million calls on both the property tax and household charge since March 7, 2013, Finance Minister Michael Noonan revealed yesterday.
The same company made headlines earlier this year after a former Abtran employee manning the property tax helpline pleaded guilty to four fraud offences at the company's headquarters at the University Technology Park in Curraheen, Co Cork, in May, 2013.
Jonathon Gough (22), of Glyntown, Glanmire, Co Cork, was placed on probation for 12 months in January after admitting to fraudulently inducing customers to give him their credit card and bank details. He was also ordered to pay a bond of €500.
Meanwhile, Mr Noonan insisted that the use of the call-centre outsourcing company has saved the exchequer millions of euro.
"The helpline service, which is provided in both the English and Irish languages, normally operates on a 9am/5pm Monday to Friday cycle, but during peak filing periods is extended to an 8am/8pm cycle and can include Saturday when required," he said.
"A key aspect of the service is the provider's capacity to quickly scale operations up or down in response to call volumes," he added.