Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller says that effective customer service is key in ensuring that Jamaica can serve its citizens and make the country attractive for business.
The Prime Minister, who was addressing the seventh staging of the Public Sector Customer Service Competition awards ceremony held on Thursday, July 11, at the Terra Nova Hotel in St. Andrew, stated that no modernisation programme can succeed without first ensuring that the people in Jamaica and those overseas, who do business with the Government, are happy with the services provided.
She lamented that too often; complaints are heard of long lines and slow processing times, which lead to people becoming frustrated, businesses being stifled and productivity being lost.
“As a country, we must send a clear and unmistakable message that we are serious about facilitating business. This must be demonstrated in our attitudes to service delivery, always striving to ensure that our public sector is efficient, effective and service-oriented,” she said.
She noted that otherwise, Jamaica runs a very real risk of being left behind in the journey to social and economic development.
“Unless we can seriously cut the red tape and bureaucracy, there is no real hope of our country advancing its placement in the Doing Business index, something that is particularly important as we seek to improve Jamaica’s economic standing and global competitiveness in the world,” the Prime Minister said.
“We must continue to encourage and promote the highest standards of service delivery in our Ministries, Departments and Agencies. Effective customer service should never be taken lightly, as our country is increasingly being called on to operate and survive in a highly competitive global market where we are competing against economies that are larger than ours, and with considerably more resources at their disposal,” the Prime Minister said.
She called on all public servants to strive for greater innovation in the conduct of the Government’s business and seek to ensure the highest standard of service delivery at all times.
She said that the public service is a critical foundation on which the nation is built, noting that the country is as strong, and the Government is as good, as the quality of the public service.
“It is therefore necessary to ensure that customer service is of the highest possible quality and standard, and that our public servants fully understand and appreciate the needs of the public. In so doing, it is essential that they perform their duties in a courteous, compassionate, professional and efficient manner,” she stated.
“As the largest employer of labour, we must ensure that the public sector leads the thrust towards increased productivity and quality service delivery in Jamaica,” she stressed.
The Prime Minister further stated that the public sector must expand its services at the community level and into people’s homes through greater use of technology. In addition, she emphasised that accountability and transparency must be the order of the day “because the people’s money is involved and we are all servants of the people”.
Contact: Alecia Smith-Edwards