JIS News

Information Minister, Senator Burchell Whiteman has identified improvement in customer service as a major plank in the reform and modernization of the public sector.
Senator Whiteman, who was speaking on the topic ‘Winning the Service Game’ at the Jamaica Customer Service Association’s annual conference at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston this morning (Nov.11) said: “the country will not succeed if while there is good service delivery in the private sector, the public sector, which is the backbone for the successful operation of the private sector remains lagging behind”.
He said there was “need for all public sector entities to have customer service considerations as a focal point in their operations” with continued focus on improved service delivery.
The Information Minister commended the improvements in service delivery by state agencies under the 1994 Public Sector Reform and Modernization Programme, which aimed to improve transparency and accountability in the delivery of services to the public.
Since the beginning of the programme, the Standards and Monitoring Unit has assisted 58 entities to develop citizen’s charters, while an additional 21 agencies are in the process of developing charters. The unit is also conducting an impact assessment of the customer service programme, which will partially involve feedback from the public on their experiences with public sector entities. This assessment is slated to begin in January 2005. The unit will also begin activity geared at instituting low cost consultative processes such as people’s panels, in January 2005.
The Information Minister also pointed to efforts by the Inland Revenue Department to continually improve its efficiency and services, with the latest development being the putting in place of an online payment portal. Once operational, the portal will enable customers to pay their taxes from anywhere in the world via the Internet.
He congratulated the Jamaica Customer Service Association for working to establish world standards in customer service in Jamaica.
The JCSA was established three years ago and has, among its aims, a desire to foster improved understanding within all sectors of the society about the role, potential and need for excellence in customer service in national development.
The conference, which began on Wednesday, November 10 under the theme: ‘Service = Profits.driving profitability through customer service excellence’ and saw presentations being made by various sector representatives, comes to a close today (Nov. 11).

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