Tshering Palden

A Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) survey has found numerous flaws in public service delivery by the civil service.

A broad assessment of public service delivery was made in selective ministries, dzongkhags, and agencies, as part of the organisational development exercise, by taking the feedback of key stakeholders and clients.

Most of the services were designed from the perspective of the providers and found to not always meet the expectations of the end-users.

“For instance, government services provided from Monday to Friday, 9–5PM reflecting the government-centric mindset to public service delivery,” the report stated.

The survey also showed that services were not systematically linked within and across ministries, dzongkhags, and agencies mainly due to the compartmentalised way of functioning and incompatible systems and technologies in agencies.

With the exception of selective G2C services, most organisations were found to not have a Standard operating procedure (SOP) or turnaround time (TAT).

“Unnecessary processes and the absence of proper service standards is indirectly encouraging rent-seeking behaviours among the service providers in critical areas,” the RCSC annual report for June 2016- July 2017, stated.

The existing performance evaluation system did not always take into account the feedback of service recipients.

G2C services are subject to the availability of reliable internet services, which at times was difficult to be availed in the interior parts of the country because of the lack of proper internet connectivity.

The commission stated that given the critical role civil service play in delivering public services, as most public services are delivered through the civil service, every effort must be made to improve the quality of services on a continuous basis to meet and even exceed their expectations of the government and general public.

The commission in order to address these issues is implementing a number of initiatives. The commission’s report states that almost all service delivery issues were captured and that it has provided all the support including the creation of a customer service desk in dzongkhags and thromdes and human resources.

“Agencies are also advised to incorporate service delivery targets in their annual performance targets,” the report stated.

The use of technology is encouraged to deliver key public services to minimise human bias and ensure transparency.

“Agencies are encouraged to tap the prospects presented by the rapid and deep mobile penetration especially, smartphones for enhancing service delivery,” the RCSC report stated.

A pool of design thinking (DT) experts has been created from the 220 civil servants who were trained as design thinking master trainers.

The DT competencies will provide a new approach to de- liver government services by engaging citizens and promoting innovation in service delivery. RCSC encouraged agencies to use DT to re-engineer and im- prove services.

The G2C office and RCSC are currently reviewing three services – timber permit, passport service, and doctor appointment service, using the design thinking master trainers.

Agencies are also encouraged to apply for membership to quality standard bodies for instance ISO9001.

“Staffing requirement of agencies is vetted through SOPs and TAT which requires agencies to come up with their SOPs and TATs,” the report stated. “Training opportunities are provided to those staff dealing directly with the clients.”

The new performance management system, the report stated, is designed to promote team spirit and higher accountability in service delivery. Innovation and creativity officers are encouraged across the agencies to improve service delivery on a continuous basis.

The commission said that it would continue to support public service delivery by championing the role of a unified civil service, not swayed by vested interests, and political influences but rather aligning its human resources and strategic vision towards the achievement of the national objectives of sovereignty, security, and self-reliance.

“The commission will also continuously strive to make the civil service and its institutions SMART.”