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Chief Technical Director in the Public Sector Modernisation Division, Cabinet Office, Marjorie Johnson, has implored members of the public sector to take seriously, their responsibility as service providers to the citizens of Jamaica.

Chief Technical Director in the Public Sector Modernisation Division, Cabinet Office, Marjorie Johnson (right) shows Marketing Consultant, Zachary Harding (centre) a copy of the poster of this year’s Public Sector Customer Service Competition during the competition’s launch at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston today (June 23). Looking on is: Chief Executive Officer of the National Land Agency, Best Customer Service Agency 2008/2009, Elizabeth Stair.

She noted that “although there are obvious resource constraints we must ensure that we are planning proactively with service excellence as our mantra.”
The Chief Technical Director was speaking today (June 23) at the launch of the Public Sector Customer Service Competition 2010/2011 at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston.
Stating that customer service is a key part of the modernisation process, she said “we must ensure that we focus on capacity building, so that our staff are well trained and up to date on changes in policies and procedures in order to keep our public well-informed.”
According to Mrs. Johnson, the annual competition demonstrates that the Cabinet Office recognises the importance of rewarding those entities and individuals, who display an undying commitment to service excellence, and provides the opportunity for entities and individuals to judge their service through the eyes of the public.
“The true test of how well we are performing as public sector entities is the perception that exists in our customers’ minds in relation to how we are impacting on the quality of daily lives,” she pointed out.

Marketing Consultant, Zachary Harding (right), has the attention of public sector employees, moments before the launch of the Public Sector Customer Service Competition 2010/2011 today (June 23) at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston. From left are: Chief Executive Officer of the National Land Agency, Elizabeth Stair; Chief Technical Director in the Public Sector Modernisation Division, Cabinet Office, Marjorie Johnson; and best public sector customer service officer for 2008/2009, Patricia Farquharson.

Marketing Consultant, Zachary Harding, in his keynote address, said that excellence in customer service was essential in attracting overseas investment. He contended that poor service could provide a barrier to entry.
“It is important to recognise that, that little interaction you might have with somebody at the base level is actually playing a role in how your country is being viewed as a destination for investment,” he pointed out.
According to Mr. Harding, any failure on the part of public sector workers to meet acceptable world standards, coupled with competition from other more investment-friendly countries, will determine where investors focus their attention.
“Globally, investors are faced with many choices and will seek a return on their investment based on the criteria most important to them,” he remarked.
He noted however, that even as we seek to enhance service delivery to overseas customers, excellent service must first begin at home. “How can we truly serve others if we can’t serve ourselves?” he asked. “By delivering value to our local customers first, a true service-driven culture will develop and serving overseas customers consistently, efficiently and effectively will simply be a natural way of life for us,” he said.
The Public Sector Customer Service Competition, first staged in 2001, represents the reward and recognition component of the National Customer Service Programme. It was initiated by the Cabinet Office as a means of encouraging continuous focus and improvement in the quality of service delivery to customers.
The competition is open to all public sector entities, including central civil service organisations, public companies, statutory bodies, government departments and executive agencies.
However, only entities with Citizen’s Charters are eligible for consideration as Best Customer Service Entity. Other competition categories include, Most Improved Customer Service Entity, Best Ministry, Best Hospital and Best Customer Service Officer.
Members of the public are able to vote for their preferred government entity via the Cabinet Office website at http://www.cabinet.gov.jm/. Nomination forms are also available at the offices of government departments and agencies.