Day 60 – Q 3.What is a citizen charter? Does it really ad any value to the organisational work culture? Critically examine.
3. What is a citizen charter? Does it really ad any value to the organisational work culture? Critically examine.
नागरिक चार्टर क्या है? क्या यह वास्तव में संगठनात्मक कार्य संस्कृति के मूल्यों में वृद्धि करता है? समालोचनात्मक जांच करें।
The citizen’s charter is a written, voluntary declaration by service providers that outlines the commitment of the organization towards standard, quality and timeframe of service delivery along with grievance redress mechanism. This also includes expectations of the Organization from the Citizen/Client for fulfilling the commitment of the Organization.
An ideal citizen’s charter must contain:
- Vision and mission statement of the organization.
- Information about the nature and quality of service delivery.
- The time frame within which the service must be delivered.
- Expectations from the client.
- Grievance redressal infrastructure in case of noncompliance.
Importance of citizen’s charter for organizational work culture:
The Citizens’ Charter is an instrument which seeks to make an organization transparent, accountable and citizen-friendly.
- It enhances accountability by providing citizens with a clear understanding of service delivery standards, including timetables, user fees for services, and options for grievance redress.
- It promotes good governance. It increases organizational effectiveness and performance by making a public commitment to adhere to measurable service delivery standards.
- It creates a way for both internal and external actors to objectively monitor service delivery performance. It ensures better service quality and grievance redressal.
- It creates a more professional and client-responsive environment for service delivery as it is citizen-centric in nature, keeping in mind the needs of citizens.
- It fosters improvements in staff morale.
- It ushers in a regime of transparency and openness through Rules, Procedure, Schemes, and Grievances. It decreases opportunities for corruption and graft by increasing transparency and educating citizens about their rights.
- It increases government revenues by ensuring that the money citizens pay for services goes into the government’s coffers (and not into employees’ pockets).
- Purpose of the Citizens’ Charter is to empower the citizen in relation to public service delivery.
The Citizen charter, not an effective instrument in adding value to the organization because:
- Just a formality: The general perception of organisations which formulated Citizens’ Charters was that the exercise was to be carried out because there was a direction from the top. It thus became one of the routine activities of the organisation and had no focus. They are nothing but pious statements of intention which do not contain any objective goals.
- Overburden Organization: Departments are already overburdened. Charter leads to diversion of department time from works of public importance.
- Lack of trained staff: Staff doesn’t have proper training and orientation and are unaware of the spirit and content of the Charter.
- Lack of awareness: It remains unreached to the public due to the lack of awareness. Awareness campaigns to educate clients about the Charter were not conducted systematically.
- Unrealistic Charter: In some cases, the standards/time norms of services mentioned in Citizens’ Charter were either too lax or too tight and were, therefore, unrealistic and created an unfavourable impression on the clients of the Charter.
- No legal backing: The Citizen’s Charter is not legally enforceable and, therefore, is non-justifiable. This had made them toothless tool to the citizens.
- Unilateral drafting: Further they are drafted unilaterally by the organisation without the involvement of stakeholders which is defeating the purpose of citizen charters.
- Involving the citizens in the making of the charter.
- Awareness campaigns to educate clients about the Charter to be conducted systematically.
- Employees need to be trained, sensitized and deviant behaviour should be punished.
- Statutory backing should be provided to citizen charter.
Governance still needs to be improved as the aspirations of people have gone up and the government cannot run away from its responsibility. Therefore, with effective implementation strategy, simplified meticulous design and deployment of enthusiastic staff and with adequate awareness campaigns, possible external audits we can go a long way in making Citizen Charter a tool for better governance.