KINGSTON – The effective and efficient delivery of products and services by the public sector is pivotal to the realisation of the country's National Development Plan, Vision 2030.
This was emphasised by Chief Standards and Monitoring Officer, National Customer Service Programme, Public Sector Modernisation Unit, Cabinet Office, Michele Gordon-Somers, at the opening of the Customer Service Monitoring and Evaluation System (CSMES) inaugural customised training course at the Management Institute for National Development (MIND), Old Hope Road, yesterday March 14.
Underscoring its role in shaping the society, Mrs. Gordon-Somers said the public sector's "strident efforts" to this end are crucial in order to "positively influence" implementation of critical priority areas of Vision 2030, among other service deliverables.
These, she outlined, include: world class education and training; effective social protection; a healthy and stable population; and a prosperous economy with an enabling business environment.
"It is, therefore, evident that the achievement of Jamaica's development goals will require a well oiled, well-functioning, efficient, results-oriented public sector, which is promoting and facilitating high levels of service delivery for various stakeholders in the society," she argued.
Mrs. Gordon-Somers explained that public sector entities exist "only to serve the needs of the people of Jamaica,” and they have a “moral obligation” to ensure that their clients are served “exceptionally well."
“Our public sector serves a captive audience. Unlike the private sector, where one can access service elsewhere if one is not satisfied, in the public sector, one has to put up with whatever is offered, because there are usually no alternatives to accessing particular services,” she said.
She contended that public sector commitment to efficient customer service raises critical issues pertaining to: choices in accessing good government service; timeframe for and standard of service delivery; the level of courtesy and professionalism displayed; client satisfaction; and collaboration among entities for effective and efficient service delivery.
“These are all critical issues that must be addressed if entities are to claim that they are truly configured to deliver high quality services. It is obvious that an effective monitoring and evaluation system must be in place if entities are to be able to answer these critical questions, as well as make evidence-based adjustments to improve levels of performance in a structured manner over time,” Mrs. Gordon-Somers noted.
“A well functioning monitoring and evaluation system will enable entities to engage in more proactive decision making and implementation of service improvement measures. It will also provide the information and data that is needed to enable you to, confidently, embrace your role as a change agent in your organisation,” she added.
The training programme, being jointly undertaken by MIND and the Cabinet Office, is intended to equip public sector entities to implement the CSMES, thereby enabling them to measure and analyse their service delivery, using an evidence-based methodology. Implementation of the CSMES will also facilitate standardised reporting across the sector, as well as assessment of the needs and satisfaction level of their customers.
The CSMES, which falls under the National Customer Service Programme, managed by the Cabinet Office, is designed to ensure focus of all public sector entities on continuous improvement and maintenance of high quality service delivery to the Jamaican citizenry.
CONTACT: DOUGLAS McINTOSH