The public will be able to report a wide range of faults seen on the streets from defective traffic lights to potholes by dialling a single number, if a government proposal goes ahead. The plan was an 'entirely new concept', Efficiency Unit assistant director Grace Pun Wu Kam-yin said. The number would cover services provided by a range of departments. A study, expected to be finished by the end of the year, would estimate the number of calls, costs and the number of departments involved. Mrs Pun said the unit also had to work out the logistics of how to fix the problems once reported and see whether the number should be manned by a separate call centre. The study is part of the unit's initiative to explore the idea of a 'one-stop' inquiry service. Mrs Pun said at present various departments had about 900 inquiry numbers. Some departments had as many as 40 numbers. 'The public often does not know which number to call for particular information or services,' she said. Unit director Colin Sankey said Brisbane, Australia, for example, had only one inquiry number. While this might not be feasible for Hong Kong, he believed the 900 numbers should be rationalised and would like to see the figure reduced to '20 or so'. In 1996, 60 per cent of the complaints against telephone inquiry services related to trouble accessing the service.