A report by the Auditor General of the City of Buenos Aires (AGCBA) evaluated the Social Hotline 108 and found "shortcomings in controlling the calls received, archiving and safekeeping of documentation" situation that generates "unreliability in the records." However, the report stresses "the will to make the necessary corrections."
As detailed on the website of the City Government "via the line 108 are reportedly receiving advice and related social emergency demands immediate and free 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."
There are problems in recording the calls, getting unreliable information collected. On this, the audit stated that "the complex computer system used by the program is hampering the internal control and prevents reach a specific number of calls entered".
However, data from incoming calls "are also targeted in paper forms manually". The system is a kind of Russian nesting dolls: each operator noted in their resume information of his or her calls, the supervisor dumps the data of all operators in another form and makes the daily statistics and finally Administration 108, with all that data, makes monthly averages.
For the local auditors this duplication generates a "both administrative and operational inefficiency." As "no procedures to validate information manuals overturned in daily returns" data become "unreliable". In fact, several cases in which "the information provided by the auditee on the statistics presented inconsistencies" were detected.
Call for Attention
Just communicating with Line 108 starts a recording that says being called to an area of Social Services of the Buenos Aires government is active. For this reason, the audit team emphasized the so-called "wrong number", which represents 25% of the total, since it considers "which is very high percentage and deserve special attention."
A voice on the Phone
The AGCBA report, which assesses the year 2012, stresses that there are two levels of care: an instance where operators listening investigate the details of the case and assess whether resolved by telephone or derived to the second line of care is made professionals, mostly psychologists, supervisors to more complex cases.
At the time of the audit, the service had "88 people of which 51 were telephone operators".
It should be noted what was the training of operators. The truth is that information a little discouraged. The report indicates that "in 2012 the training was limited and subject matter of the courses was not linked with the work on the line so it does not help to better performance."
Of the 11 activities that took place that year "the average attendance was between one and five people."
For the next year, "the situation was reversed" and training "began to be linked with the problems of the 108". In response, "the average number of participants increased to an average of ten". Considering the number of operators, the average remains low.
It is important to note that for both years the courses "were not the result of an annual planning but informally conducted at the request of the General Coordination of the Line".
On the keeper of the statistics pages completed by operators, the AGCBA said "they are in boxes stacked on a desk at the office of Coordination, without any order to expedite a search".
To all this it is added, "the precariousness and informality in the file and backup documentation," overshadowing "the efficiency and effectiveness of the actions and compliance with applicable laws and regulations