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19 May 2005

Hornbill Systems, a leading provider of IT support and service management solutions, has supplied its Supportworks system to The National Archives, enabling the organisation to track and respond to customers’ enquiries within the twenty day time limit set out in the 2000 Freedom of Information Act, which came into force in January 2005.

The National Archives uses Supportworks to handle requests for information from records and documents housed at its premises in Kew, West London. Supportworks enables the routing of enquiries - whether by webform, fax, phone or email – to trained staff so that each request can be processed by the most relevant member of the team. Given the nature of the services provided by The National Archives this is one of the largest implementations in the UK for delivering information to the public under the Freedom of Information Act.

Hornbill provided its core Supportworks platform which has all of the request handling capability built in, with an application template which ensures a custom fit to The National Archives’ business requirements. Supportworks’ workflow process ensures that all enquiries are followed through to completion. Flags and warnings automatically alert staff and management of any delays in processing a particular enquiry. The system’s reporting facility also helps the organisation to manage trends and analyse its performance against the twenty day target for responding to information requests. The system’s ‘Microsoft Outlook’ look and feel provides instant familiarity, making it easy for users to learn.

Due to the modular approach taken by Hornbill, the implementation was completed and up and running in a much shorter timescale than would normally be expected for a project of this scope.

Chris Owens, Head of Access Development Services at The National Archives, commented, “Hornbill’s Supportworks solution required minimum customisation which given that we were working to fairly tight timescales and a limited budget, was a key consideration. Since implementing Supportworks less than two months ago, we have handled around one thousand enquiries - more than most other government departments – and most have been responded to within legislation timescales.”

Gerry Sweeney, Managing Director at Hornbill Systems, commented, “Supportworks is a highly configurable software application that can track enquiries from customers, measure service performance against these requests, and automate processes and manage resources needed to deliver service. The National Archives is an excellent example of how public bodies can provide wider access to information and increase accountability through implementing solutions such as Supportworks.”

For more information about Supportworks, please visit


About The National Archives

The National Archives, which covers England, Wales and the United Kingdom, was formed in April 2003 by bringing together the Public Record Office and the Historical Manuscripts Commission. It is responsible for looking after the records of central government and the courts of law, and making sure everyone can look at them.

The National Archives has one of the largest archival collections in the world, spanning 1000 years of British History, from Domesday Book of 1086 to government papers recently released to the public. It also acts as a clearinghouse for information about the location of non-public records and manuscripts relating to British history kept elsewhere in the UK and overseas.

Over 600 staff are based at the offices in Kew, West London, where most of the nine million documents in the collection can be viewed by members of the public. Some of the most popular documents are also available online. The Freedom of Information Act gives anyone, anywhere in the world, a right of access to information held by public bodies, including The National Archives. This right of access, which is overridden only by exemptions set out in the Freedom of Information Act, applies both to The National Archives’ own administrative records and to the archives themselves (the records transferred to The National Archives from other government departments).

For more information please visit

About Hornbill Systems

Hornbill Systems delivers market leading Service Management solutions that enable organisations to automate business processes and provide first class customer service. Drawing on a decade of experience, Hornbill has packaged a number of applications designed for rapid deployment within any employee or customer service support environment. Solutions are available for IT Service Management, Facilities, HR/Payroll, as well as a broad range of Business, Consumer and Citizen Response service desks. Hornbill’s foundation product, Supportworks ESP can address the individual requirements of multiple business units, significantly reducing costs by providing a consolidated Service Management solution. For more information about Hornbill’s solutions please visit

For Company and editorial information contact:

Laura Bunting

Hornbill Systems

Tel: 0208 582 8224

Andreina West

PR Artistry

Tel: 01491 636191


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