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How we operate: Our standards of service

We are committed to the highest standards of public sector administration and management. We describe below the standards of service that you can expect from us in our day-to-day operations.

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Contact details

Staff will always identify themselves by name, whether on the telephone, in writing or in person.

Providing information

All external documents will include full details of appropriate staff contacts (name, address, telephone and email addresses).

We will maintain an up to date website and aim to make amendments to stated information within 15 working days.

Written enquiries

We aim to provide accurate, clear and complete responses to queries. Often we will be able to respond immediately; sometimes we will need to seek information or consult colleagues from outside the organisation before we are able to respond.  In all circumstances, we are committed to dealing with external queries quickly and efficiently. Our aim is to reply to all queries - whether made by telephone, email or letter - within 20 working days from the date of receipt.

Where there is a complex query, we will reply within 20 days and will include in our reply an explanation of any further work that needs to be done in order to provide a full response and the timescale within which we expect to complete the work.

Contacting us by telephone

We are available to answer telephone calls within our normal office hours: 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday.  We aim to deal with all telephone calls promptly, efficiently and politely.

Outwith office hours and, exceptionally, where no staff are available to receive calls during office hours, voicemail will be available. We will aim to respond to telephone messages promptly.

If you wish to speak to a specific member of staff who is not available, we will try to ensure that someone else is available to deal with the enquiry or to take a message.


Staff will see individuals calling for pre-arranged meetings at the agreed time. If for any reason this is not possible, we will arrange for another appropriate member of staff to meet the caller within ten minutes of the original appointment time.

Making payments

We will announce and distribute programme funds to institutions accurately and on time. We will aim to achieve a target of 100% accuracy. We aim to make payments to suppliers within 30 days of receiving a valid invoice.