'tis' The Season To Celebrate 500 000th Call To Interpreting Service

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23rd December 2009, 04:42pm - Views: 627





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MEDIA RELEASE


Media Enquiries: National Communications Branch (02) 6264 2244


114.09

23 December 2009



‘TIS’ the season to celebrate 500 000th call to interpreting service



The Department of Immigration and Citizenship's (DIAC) Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS

National) has beaten the midway mark buzzer on its million calls record by a month.


A DIAC spokesman said the service took its 500 000th call in November.


“The milestone of receiving half-a-million calls was reached a month earlier than in 2008-09, which

itself was a record year with more than one million calls to the contact centre,” the spokesman

said.


TIS National is an interpreting service for non-English speakers as well as English speakers who

need to communicate with them.


As at December 21, TIS National (telephone 131 450) had taken 579 569 inbound calls in 2009-

10. Last month, it provided 65 681 operator-assisted phone interpreting services.


This was 16.5 per cent more than the number of services provided in November last year.


“Once answered, callers were transferred to an interpreter in a major community language within

three minutes on 99 per cent of occasions,” the DIAC spokesman said.


“TIS National is recruiting more interpreters to maintain service standards in light of the growing

demand for interpreting services. The service has contracted 179 new interpreters so far this

financial year, including 33 in November.


“It also recently increased its number of operators to ensure service requests are actioned promptly.


“These extra operators enabled TIS National to increase its services standard of answering calls

within 30 seconds from 49 per cent in October to 76 per cent in November.


“Further increases to this service standard are expected once operators are fully trained.”


TIS National services all of Australia and provides phone interpreting around the clock in more than

160 languages and dialects. It also helps non-English speakers communicate with government

departments, private businesses, emergency services and community-based organisations.


More details about TIS National are available on DIAC’s website at: www.immi.gov.au/tis


Audio news grabs are available at the online newroom at www.newsroom.immi.gov.au









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