Furlough, older equipment cause DPW delays

| July 26, 2013 | 0 Comments
Woman waiting on phone.

Woman waiting on phone.

U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs Office

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — Customers have been complaining about the length of time necessary to get a customer service phone call through to the Directorate of Public Works.

DPW has thus slowed from double time to quick step long enough to explain the three primary causes of these long waiting times or unanswered phone calls.

1) Personnel. DPW has been working with a short staff of personnel for some time. As hard as they work, they are still performing the functions of a full team of personnel. Subtract from that the team members who are on leave, including an occasional sick day — while leaving the same amount of telephone calls, and the caller can get the picture.

2) Furlough. Once the effects of sequestration hit, alternating furlough days within the directorate further exacerbated the staffing problem. Due to sequestration, the already Spartan team is down to one day per week with all existing personnel.

3) Phones. DPW’s offices don’t enjoy the luxury of an automated answering-trunking system with music while you wait. Instead, its older phone system is incapable of doing more than ringing until answered.

After combining these three factors, the scene isn’t hard to envision: Phones that cannot be immediately answered ring until one of the DPW staff can pick them up, or until the caller hangs up.

A few other mitigating circumstances for DPW customers pertain, like the volume of calls, which have continued to increase in recent years. Further, the 25th Infantry Division is fully back in garrison for the first time in years.

DPW is taking all of its customers’ calls as fast as possible with the resources available.

Presently, DPW is investigating ways to expedite work orders. Meanwhile, the team will continue to serve as quickly as staffing and technology permit and asks the community for continued patience and understanding.

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