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JIS News

Acting Senior Director in the Standards, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of the Public Sector Modernisation Division, Cabinet Office, Michele Gordon-Somers is calling on Jamaicans to hold the public sector accountable for quality customer service.
In an interview with JIS News on the upcoming launch of the Fifth staging of the Public Sector Customer Service Competition on Wednesday, June 23, at the Terra Nova Hotel, in Kingston, Mrs. Gordon-Somers emphasised that accountability was key to helping the public sector transition from statements of intent to results on the ground.
“I think we are going to see much more participation from members of the public, because we have found that in every staging of the competition, more people are willing to express their views and we are very happy for that, because we want our public to hold our public sector entities accountable for delivering increasingly high levels of customer service,” she said.
“We want the public to really take part, because it is through feedback from our public that we become more aware of where we fall short, where we can improve, where we are doing well and we want to ensure that we design our services to really meet their needs and expectations of us,” Mrs. Gordon-Somers added.
The competition, which was first staged in 2001, is open to all public sector entities, including Central Civil Service, Executive Agencies, Public Companies, Statutory Bodies and Government Departments.
It aims to, among other things, recognise and reward public sector entities that remain committed to continuously improving service delivery to customers and encourage former winners to maintain and surpass their standards of service delivery, while motivating other entities to raise the bar.
The main categories include ‘Best Customer Service Entity’, ‘Most Improved Customer Service Entity’ and ‘Most Creative/Innovative Agency’.
Winners for some categories are chosen based on feedback and nominations collected from members of the public islandwide. The feedback is gathered via:A telephone survey of a representative sample of customers islandwide in relation to entities that directly serve members of the public.Targeted surveys for some entities that do not directly serve the public.A toll-free line established in the Standards Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, Public Sector Modernisation Division, Cabinet Office.Voting by customers on the Cabinet Office website. Nominations made by members of the public at public sector entities on prescribed nomination forms.
Other winners are based on submissions and presentations delivered by entities that wish to be considered for a prize in specific categories. A panel of judges make the final determination of winners for all categories.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Gordon-Somers pointed out that the entities recognise that customer service is much more than just a biennial competition.
“They know that it is not just about prizes. It is a commitment, through the National Customer Service Programme, to embed a service culture in the public sector and demonstrate the Government’s commitment to the vision of a public sector that puts the customer first,” she explained.
“We realise that though we don’t face the same competition that the private sector does in terms of having products that compete against products from other entities, we have a moral obligation in ensuring that we focus on our customers’ needs and exceed their expectations wherever we can,” Mrs. Gordon-Somers added.