The fight against administrative corruption will be a mirage unless it is targeted at eliminating unnecessary delays in the provision of public services.
This is part of recommendations made in a report put together by the Ghana Integrity Initiative and the Private Enterprises Federation on using service delivery charters to promote service integrity in Ghana.
According to them, the delays which are attributable to sluggishness and bureaucracy among others can be also curbed if government speedily enacts an omnibus bill that will require all government agencies to collaborate and use a common database in the provision of services to the Ghanaian public.
In an interview with Citi Business News, lead consultant of the team and lecturer at GIMPA Law School, Clara Beeri Kasser Tee, said the delays can be eliminated through the effective implementation and use of service delivery charters to fight administrative corruption.
“Delays are primarily the root cause of administrative corruption. To address corruption, one must necessarily eliminate unnecessary delays in the delivery of public services. The delays can be eliminated through the effective implementation and use of service delivery charters and automation of services among others, thereby preventing and fighting administrative corruption.
She also called for the implementation of a bill to aid transparency and help in the effective implementation of Service Delivery Charters in the country.
“There is the need to also ensure the enactment of legislation, that will require all government agencies to collaborate, share, and use a common database, and, to collaborate, co-operate and liaise with one another in the provision of services to the Ghanaian public and businesses,” she said.
What is a Service Delivery Charter (SDC)?
A Citizens’ Charter or a Customer Service Charter or Service Delivery Charter (SDC) is generally defined as a public document that sets out basic information on the services provided by the state or its institutions, the standards of service that customers can expect from them and how to make complaints or suggestions for improvement.
It is an expression of an understanding between the Ghanaian public and a provider of a public service on quantity and quality of services and defines the type, quality, and magnitude of service that the citizenry can expect from the particular State Institution.
A good SDC must clearly identify the state institution, its purpose, its ‘client base’ and its services as well as establish channels of communication between the Institution and its clients.
It must also set out the institution’s client service standards and client rights and responsibilities, and set ways to obtain feedback and handle client enquiries and complaints.
The research, also proposed that public institutions take the guidelines into consideration and developing and reviewing the SDCs.
At the same time all staff must be trained on service delivery and appropriate behaviours towards clients/customers no matter their fields of specialization.
It further noted that the introduction of the SDCs will emphasize the commitment of public institutions towards the provision of services to the citizens according to predetermined quality standards, thereby ushering in a new era in quality management in the public service to meet the demands and needs of customers.