The Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) has called on all Australian governments to “get serious” about adopting best practice in delivering public services.
A policy discussion paper developed by IPAA found there were few national, State or Local Government agencies with publicly disclosed service strategies that matched best practice internationally.
The paper also found that apart from South Australia and to some extent the Commonwealth, it was hard to find directives and guidelines on preparing comprehensive and integrated strategies for delivering public services.
National President of IPAA, Percy Allan said that although positive service initiatives were sprinkled around Australia via customer charters, client surveys, e-access channels, and complaints handling mechanisms, there was huge potential to ‘join the dots’ and design truly client-focussed Australian public services.
“To put citizens at the centre of public policy prioritisation and service delivery requires seeing government through the lens of the citizen as a client,” Mr Allan said.
“This requires rigorous analysis of the service delivery value chain; knowing how to progress from a deep analysis of clients’ needs and expectations to delivering a service of quality with strong client input and feedback; and the empowerment of front-line staff to fix problems and complaints as they arise.”
He said global standards for service delivery set by countries like Denmark, Finland, Canada and the United Kingdom should be within the reach of Australian governments.
“Features such as empowering citizens through better information, unequivocal commitments to service standards including just-in-time problem resolution, highly personalised or tailored services, and front-line workers who ‘own’ the quality improvement agenda are attainable,” he said.
“It’s time all governments got serious on service delivery.”
The full policy paper is available online at this PS News link.