Minister bemoans poor customer care among public sector institutions

Mr Alhassan Azong, Minister of State in-charge of Public Sector Reforms, has bemoaned the falling standards of customer care delivery that had permeated Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the country.

“It is sad to note that the manner and quality of services offered to prospective clientele has constantly fallen short of public expectations.

Therefore in some instances, value for money has not always been attained by cherished customers,” he said.

Mr Azong expressed the concern at the launch of Culture Change Training Programme for Heads of Client Service Units (CSUs) in the public sector in Accra on Wednesday.

He noted that although the CSU concept had been extended to 40 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), the desired results of satisfactory service to the public had not been attained.

The launch was attended by representatives from MDAs including Lands Commission, Registrar General’s Department, University of Ghana, Food and Drugs Board, Ghana Tourist Board and the Judicial Service.

Mr Azong appealed to customer care officers in the public sector to re-orient themselves and adopt modern means of customer care delivery.

“You are the entry point to the organisations and therefore must position yourselves to acquire every skill you may need in order to market your organisations,” he said.

Mr Azong said the Public Sector Reforms Secretariat had translated some CSU Charters into six widely spoken Ghanaian languages to bring the illiterate population closer to the CSU concept.

He said the concept had also been dramatised to enable people, who might not have access to the translated facility to also benefit from what the charter sought to send across to the public.

Alhaji Yahaya Abdul-Rahman, Chief Executive Officer of Ruyan Consult, who was contracted by Public Sector Reforms Secretariat (PSRS) to conduct a survey on the performances of CSUs, said the survey was based on six thematic areas.

These were on Customer Insight, Customer Focused Culture, Information Access, Service Delivery, Timeliness and Quality and Equality.

He said questionnaires were distributed to customers, staff and managements of MDAs since they were the major players in the customer care and the focus of the survey.

Alhaji Abdul-Rahman noted that out of the 20 MDAs where questionnaires were sent, only 58 per cent responses were received from the clients, while 40 per cent responses were received from the staff and 25 per cent from the managements.

He cited the Food and Drugs Board, Passport Office, Ghana Tourist Board, Ghana Immigration Service, Town and Country Planning, Survey Department and the Forestry Commission as the only organisations, which their managements refused to respond to the questionnaires sent to them.

Alhaji Abdul-Rahman mentioned delays in service delivery to clients, bribery and corruption and inadequate information as some of the challenges which were discovered during the survey among CSUs in the country.

He called for more training and educational programmes and exemplary leadership as some of the means by which we could bring effective changes in the works of CSUs and customer care in the country.

Source: GNA

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