Cost of telephone calls (R012044)
Thank you for your e-mail dated 22 December 2015 for the undernoted information. This request is being considered under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).
“Please advise us as to the value of monies generated, on an office by office basis, by your use of the '7p' telephone tariffs since its introduction. Please also provide us with a copy of the policy discussion papers/documents relating to consideration by copfs of the adoption of said telephone tariffs. These requests are naturally subject to the usual statutory provisions.”
COPFS does not derive any income from calls to our 0844 numbers, nor is any portion of the cost to our customers offset against the supply of goods and services.
We were notified by our telephony supplier of call charges and industry rules changes to the 0844 (and other 08xx) number ranges, which came into effect on 1 July 2015, Accordingly, the 7p charge is applied by the provider of the 0844 number and the change was the requirement to provide that information on our publications and letters.
The consideration by COPFS of the adoption of the 0844 number included the fact that this allows calls from a landline to be charged only the flat rate for a local call, regardless of where the caller to any of our offices was calling from. In addition, calls between our offices are treated as internal calls, and the 7 pence rate is understood not to be excessive with other landline provider charges.
If you have not already done so, you may wish to consider signing up for Criminal Justice Secure Mail (CJSM). This was highlighted last year in the Journal of the Law Society following several local roadshows around Scotland to which all local associations of solicitors were invited, as this provides a secure way for criminal justice agencies and practitioners to exchange emails, avoiding the cost of telephone calls. I have attached an explanatory leaflet for your information, should you wish to consider contacting us in this way.