Australia considers opening London call centre for visas

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Australia's Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) is looking to open a call centre based in London as a first contact for people in the UK and Europe enquiring about Australia and its visa requirements.

According to a Statement of Requirements (SOR), DIMIA is looking for companies to submit tenders for implementing and maintaining a call centre capable of servicing up to 1200 calls per day for at least two years.

The call centre is expected to go live in March 2006 with 10 staff servicing up to 450 calls per day. This is expected to increase to 23 staff and 1200 calls per day by October 2006, when the call centre will be equipped to deal with queries in a number of European languages.

The SOR reveals that the call centre will provide responses to "new customers", so its systems will not require integration with the DIMIA's existing database. In addition, the completed system should be capable of providing call centre agents with real time access to information on queue thresholds, call waiting times and other service related data.

The DIMIA is looking to rent the call centre hardware and software from the successful tender for a period of two years, with an option to extend the contract.