JIS News

Nominations are now open for government agencies to participate in the 2005/06 Public Sector Customer Service Competition.
The competition, which is in its third year, will culminate in an awards ceremony to be held in March of 2006.
The top prize is the Prime Minister’s Trophy plus a cash award of $250,000 for the Best Customer Service Agency. Other prizes are: the Cabinet Secretary’s Trophy with a cash award of $150,000 for the Most Improved Customer Service Agency; and the Civil Service Association Trophy and $100,000 for the Most Creative and Innovative Agency.
Speaking at the launch of the competition at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kingston this morning (June 17), Cabinet Secretary Dr. Carlton Davis, said the Public Sector Customer Service Competition had become a key element in the government’s campaign to provide better service to Jamaicans despite fiscal pressures. “By 2012, Jamaica should have a public service, which places the customer first with efficient service delivery,” he stated.
He said it was credible to note, that in the 10 years since the inception of the Citizen’s Charter programme, there had been a notable improvement in public service with some 82 entities having charters. The number was expected to increase to 100 by March 2006.
He noted that a number of services were also online and commended efforts to improve efficiencies, pointing out that this was one way to stamp out corruption and reduce unethical practices.
Making reference to the Access to Information Act, the Cabinet Secretary said that although it was being spoken about in a “maudlin way” and touted as the government’s medium of reducing corruption, the Act was instituted to aid citizens in a myriad of ways. He indicated that the Act would have to be marketed further, to show that it was not just a medium “to catch thieves but was a means of improving the quality of governance.”
Public Defender and leader of the panel of judges for the competition, Howard Hamilton QC, said it was refreshing to be able to look out for service delivery that gave pleasure rather than displeasure. Mr. Hamilton said he was looking forward to the competition to see how customers viewed the efforts by agencies to improve their service and also to see how previous winners were conducting themselves.
Last year, the Administrator General’s Department copped the prizes for Best Customer Service Agency, Best Executive Agency and Most Creative Agency.Other categories to be contested are: Best Post Office, Best Police Station, Best Executive Agency, Best Ministry, Best Tax Office, Best Hospital, Best National Insurance Scheme Office and Best Customer Service Officer.
This year, a Best Ministry Award is being included in the list of awards for the first time. Nomination forms are available at all participating government agencies.

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