(ECNS) -- Standards on improving the response time of government hotline services have been issued by the Standardization Administration of China recently.
The standards, which are due to take effect on July 1 next year, say government hotlines should operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and incoming calls should be received within 15 seconds. Over a 24-hour period, the call success rate should be at least 95 percent.
According to Chinese media reports, government hotlines do not provide services on a uniform timetable. Some hotlines such as 12329, the line for the public housing fund management center, the 12320 health hotline and 96391 Beijing Municipal Education Commission line do not provide 24-hour manned services.
Call waiting times also vary. Some incoming calls are first connected to welcome speeches that can last 20 seconds, and some callers may need to wait in a queue for about 30 seconds before getting through, reported Beijing News.
The standards, even though recommendations and not mandatory, also have regulations on official government websites and short message services. They hold that response times for short messages should be no more than three minutes and that for emails should be no more than 24 hours.
It would take eight minutes to send a short messages to the 12315 hotline provided by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, according to Beijing News.
In addition, government hotline staff will be required to use more than Mandarin. The new regulations say hotlines should be able to provide services in local dialects, ethnic languages and foreign languages if necessary. Officials at some government hotlines said they will organize training to meet the standards.