KINGSTON – The Government is expanding the National Customer Service Programme, as part of overall efforts to modernise the public sector, says Chief Standards and Monitoring Officer, National Customer Service Programme, Public Sector Modernisation Unit, Cabinet Office, Michele Gordon-Somers.
Speaking 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, on March 14, Mrs. Gordon-Somers explained that expansion of the Programme, managed by the Cabinet Office, is in recognition of the need to place greater emphasis on the delivery of key products and services by sector stakeholders, particularly in relation to some of the priorities of Jamaica’s Development Plan, Vision 2030.
These include: world class education and training; effective social promotion; a healthy and stable population; and a prosperous economy with an enabling business environment.
She said a major aim of this undertaking is to facilitate the establishment of a national effort, incorporating various stakeholders, to promote continuous improvement in public sector performance. This, she pointed out, include activities such as regular consultations with clients; exploring alternative service options to ensure efficient service provision; as well as improved customer access to services.
There is also the promotion of the development of Citizen’s Charters to ensure a more informed public, and increased accountability by entities. Additionally, the Public Sector Modernisation Division in the Cabinet Office has engaged in facilitating improvements in systems, processes and methods across public sector entities.
“It is in this regard that the development of the Customer Service Monitoring and Evaluation System becomes relevant. It is recognised that while many agencies demonstrate the willingness to embrace the National Customer Service Programme, a general competency gap was identified in relation to how entities designed their service improvement portfolios, as well as monitor and evaluate these portfolios in order to inform future service improvement initiatives,” Mrs. Gordon-Somers said.
“The Customer Service Monitoring and Evaluation System provides a generic framework which will ensure that organisations adopt a comprehensive approach to planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the achievement of their missions, as well as progress to the realisation of their ultimate service delivery vision,” she added.
Mrs. Gordon-Somers informed that since the commencement of the Customer Service Programme, several government agencies have “responded well” to the challenge to improve the standards of service offered to customers.
“Over 130 government entities have taken the bold step of implementing basic customer service measures and minimum standards, developing service standards, and also have embarked on the process of developing their Citizen’s Charter document,” she noted.
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, 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