Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Significance of Citizens Charter in Public Administration

Three essential aspects in Good Governance are - Transparency, Accountability and Responsiveness.

The Citizens Charter initiative is a response to the quest for solving the problems which a citizen encounters on a daily basis while dealing with the administration providing the services. The concept of Citizen's Charter underlines the trust between the service provider and its users.

Citizen Charter is a document which represents a systematic effort to focus on commitment  of the organization towards its citizens in respects of standard of services, information, choice and consultation, non discrimination and accessibility, grievance redress, courtesy and value for money. This includes expectations of the organization from the citizen for fulfilling the commitment of the organization.

It is legally not enforceable and hence non justiciable.

DARPG - Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances working under Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India.

The above department provides guidelines for formulation and implementation of charters as well as there evaluation. It coordinates there efforts to formulate and operationalize Citizen Charter in Central Government, State Government and Union Territory administration. As public services are funded by tax payers money, citizens have the right to expect a particular quality of service which is responsive to there needs and is provided efficiently at a reasonable cost.

Some Important Points to Note -

a. Indian first Citizen Charter made in 1997.
b. In Australia Citizen Charter is known as Service Charter.
c. In Belgium Citizen Charter is known as Public Service User Charter.
d. In France Citizen Charter is known as Service Charter.

What makes a Good Charter ??

a. Delegation
b. Periodic Review
c. Simple Language
d. Focus on Customer Requirement
e. Service Standard
f. Training
g. Feedback Mechanism
h. Close Monitoring
i. Effective Remedies

What should citizens expect from Government Service providers ??

a. Reliability and Consistency
b. Responsiveness
c. Credibility
d. Empathy (higher form of sympathy)
e. Courtesy and Case

Components of a Citizen's Charter - 

a. Vision and Mission Statement.
b. Details of business transacted by the organization.
c. Details of clients and citizens.
d. Details of services provided.
e. Grievance redress-al mechanism.
f. Expectations from the clients.
g. Changing Mentality
h. Adoption and adapt ion of best practices in this field.

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