#1515gov

After seeing tweets from @LouLouK and reading her blog I decided to take part in #1515gov.
The basic idea is to tweet what you're doing at 15:15 everyday, over next month or two.
Hopefully, it will show what a diverse set of work we do in local government.

I work at Birmingham City Council Rent Services and occasionally tweet as @BCCRentServices

Tuesday 25th October 2011
My first tweet read: -
Today, I'm focusing on pending #housing actions for the Bromford rent patch, 1 of 50 patches that make up #Birmingham #1515gov #localgov  

Wednesday 26th October 2011
I thought I'd keep a journal of the day's work: -

09:45 Doing a late shift.  Arrived at our office in Central Birmingham, made breakfast and clocked in.
09:55 Banter with colleagues; refused to be drawn into protracted conversation about "Strictly". 
10:00 Computer ready, so switched on my headset for the phone system.
10:05 Received notification that a tenant has been sentenced to custody at HMP Foston Hall.  Prepared email to probation staff at prison, asking them to contact me regarding the tenant's housing benefit claim.
10:10 Thanked manager for formal recognition letter, after he received compliment letter from tenant.
10:15 Phones get busy; several calls about housing benefit issues, took a payment and agreed a refund request.
11:15 Updated notes on computer system from last few calls.
11:35 Update this "blog" and went for a tea break.
11:45 Back on the phones and crack on with the 73 pending actions on tenant accounts in Bromford, Birmingham.
11:50 Tenant rings after receiving arrears letter.  Payments are not reaching rent account.  Will ring tenant back in 15 minutes for bank details.
12:00 Update notes on computer system for various calls.
12:15 Tenant rang to query housing benefit claim.  Checked and adjusted direct debit to match.
12:20 Rang tenant back, got bank details and informed rent control team to search for missing payments.
12:25 Tenant rang regarding rent arrears.  Confirmed details of court ordered arrangement and advised on future payments due.
12:35 Update notes on computer system for various calls.
12:40 Carried on with the 73 pending actions on tenant accounts in Bromford, Birmingham.
12:45 Rang tenant to remind them to make monthly payment, but no answer.  Left voice mail.
12:50 Tenant rang in response to notice of seeking possession. Checked Benefit Services computer system for notes and advised tenant wants needs to be done.
13:05 Very chatty tenant rang to make monthly payment.  Went through successfully.
13:10 Lunchtime - cheese and beans on toast today :-P
13:25 Back at desk with food.  Catching up on personal twitter/facebook stream.
13:30 Gave technical support to colleague whose phone system had stalled.  Back to food and twitter/facebook.
13:45 Lunchtime #opendata fun; trying to download contact data from http://civicdashboard.org.uk/ still results in error on both desktop and phone.
13:50 Emailed Digital Birmingham about the civic dashboard error and went for a walk.
14:00 Clocked back in from lunch.  Setting up an arrangement to repay arrears, sent by housing officer who is out on the patch in Bromford.
14:10 Call from tenant querying status of rent account. Explained amount due and rent payment holidays.
14:15 Posted direct debit information and mandate to repay arrears, including 3 month rent statement with translation page printed on reverse.
14:20 Booked appointment for tenant to see housing officer at Bromford neighbourhood office for debt advice.  Appointment confirmation letter sent.
14:25 Carried on with the 73 pending actions on tenant accounts in Bromford, Birmingham.
14:30 Rang tenant to discuss rent arrears.  Tenant at work.  Agreed to ring back at 17:30.  Added calendar reminder.
14:35 Rang tenant to discuss rent arrears.  Advised court action is pending.  Took payment and sent details on 24 hour automated payment line.
14:55 Started court proceedings against several tenants that have high arrears and have refused to engage with us, despite numerous attempts to contact.
15:00 Call from tenant in response to card left by housing officer.  Tenant will set up Bank Standing Order next week and make manual payment this week.
15:05 Carried on with court proceedings, following the possession claims on line (PCOL) procedure.
15:15 Did my #1515gov tweet :-)
15:15 Carried on with court proceedings, following PCOL procedure.
15:20 Call from tenant in response to card left by housing officer.  Talked through housing benefit issues and booked appointment to see housing officer at local surgery next week.
15:30 Colleague offered to make me a cuppa, whilst I typed up notes from last call :-)
15:40 Comfort break.
15:45 Carried on with court proceedings, following PCOL procedure.
15:50 Call from Staffordshire probation service regarding tenant in high arrears, released from prison last month.  Discussed 14 day possession order recently granted to us by county court.  Tenant intends to return to property, so may be able to get backdated housing benefit in payment.  Took email address and agreed to have housing officer contact probation service tomorrow.
16:05 Updated notes on computer system from last few call and emailed housing officer.
16:15 Carried on with court proceedings, following PCOL procedure.
16:20 Call from Service Birmingham regarding a call computer issue I logged yesterday.  Explained issue in depth.  Engineer responsible will call back tomorrow.
16:25 Carried on with court proceedings, following PCOL procedure.
16:30 Call from tenant in arrears.  Agreed new arrangement to replace existing defaulted one.  Advised tenant, failure to comply will result in court action.  Tenant understood.  Offered and refused debt advice.  Offered and accepted financial inclusion - sent relevant booklets from The Money Advice Service.
16:35 Call from tenant in arrears.  Tenant has spoken to Benefit Services and will take necessary proofs to Stechford Neighbourhood Office in the morning.  Checked opening times and advised tenant.
16:40 Colleague requested postcode lookup.  Used Royal Mail website and advised colleague.
16:45 Call from tenant in arrears.  Cleared arrears by telephone payment and sent Direct Debit info and mandate for future payments.
16:55 Update notes on computer system for various calls and printed related letters for tenants.
17:05 Comfort break (clocked out so I could check my personal twitter/facebook stream).
17:10 Clocked back in and back on phones before lines close to incoming calls at 17:15.  Carried on with court proceedings, following PCOL procedure.
17:15 Lines closed.  Today I took 18 incoming calls and made 16 outgoing calls.  26% of my time was waiting for calls / doing other work, 33% was on the phone, 21% doing post call work and 19% doing admin work or at lunch / on a comfort break.
17:20 Carried on with court proceedings, following PCOL procedure.
17:35 Completed housing officer witness statement for court, with copies of Notice of Proceedings for Possession, rent statement and decision letter following review by manager.
17:40 Visually inspected each document to confirm correct - any errors will result in a delay in court proceedings.  Also confirmed procedure followed correctly.
17:45 Left witness statement for housing officer to sign in the morning.
17:50 Calendar reminder to ring tenant from this morning.  Rang tenant who will provide proofs for housing benefit claim via Stechford Neighbourhood Office tomorrow.  Agreed to hold action for 4 weeks, to allow time for Benefit Services to process claim.  Offered debt advice and financial inclusion.  Both refused.
17:55 Update notes on computer system for last call. 
18:00 Carried on with court proceedings, following PCOL procedure.
18:20 Completed PCOL requested document for court team and left with witness statement for housing officer to sign in the morning.
18:20 Started tenancy reference for tenant applying to Affinity Sutton.  Rang tenant to confirm okay to release reference.  Number on system is relative, who eventually found number.  Rang correct number, but line busy.  Added calendar reminder to ring tomorrow.
18:25 Tidied desk and shut down computer.
18:30 Clocked out and left for Birmingham City Library to work on mobile Benefits Calculator application.
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