Written answers

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Public Services Card

Photo of Thomas ByrneThomas Byrne (Meath East, Fianna Fail)
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613. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the results of research commissioned by her Department into public attitudes to the public services cards. [9372/19]

Photo of Mick WallaceMick Wallace (Wexford, Independent)
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616. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No. 51 of 19 February 2019, the survey provider that carried out the recent customer survey on the public services card to which she refers; when the survey was carried out; the survey method used; the sample size; the response rate; if only public services card holders were surveyed; the cost of the survey; the full list and order of questions asked; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9430/19]

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 613 and 616 together.

Customer surveys are carried out to assess customer satisfaction and perception of the quality of services offered by my Department. These surveys provide valuable insights into how customers interact with the Department’s processes and services and may also act as a benchmark against which future progress may be measured.

With regard to the survey on the Public Services Card (PSC), a stratified random sample of everyone who had been issued a PSC in September 2018 was undertaken. This sampling method ensures that the resulting sample reflects key population distributions which, in this case, was everyone aged over 18 who received a PSC in September 2018. The population was stratified by sex and age band (18-24, 25-39, 40-59, 60+), and then randomly sampled. In total, 5,000 people were in the random sample and 1,001 people took part in the survey.

A letter was sent to everyone selected to take part in the survey inviting them to take part in the survey. The letter outlined that participation was entirely voluntary, and that their answers, participation, or refusal to participate, cannot and will not affect any services or payments the customer might avail of. Amongst other things, the contact letter also outlined how and why they were selected to take part, details of the company commissioned to conduct the survey and channels for customer queries regarding the survey.

The survey was undertaken independently on behalf of the Department by W5, specialists in customer experience consultancy and was done through telephone interview in December 2018. The questions measured satisfaction with the processes and procedures involved in applying for a PSC and of undergoing SAFE authentication. The overall cost of undertaking the survey is €22,900 ex-VAT.

Overall, the results of the survey are very positive and show high levels of satisfaction reported by PSC holders. The Department intends to publish the Survey Report shortly. A copy will be available for downloading from the Department's website - www.welfare.ie.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputies.


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