Despite the introduction of online public services, citizens today still face problems when dealing with the bureaucracy.
Obtaining services that require running from post to pillar, delays as a result of officials on leave or on tour, or officials not willing to risk making decisions go beyond their boundaries, lack of coordination between some offices, are still some problems being faced.
While the G2C service is expected to solve many bureaucratic problems, if traditional mindsets and inefficient processes are still followed, no technology will be able raise service delivery to its full potential.
While efforts are being made to make public service delivery more efficient, having all government agencies obtain certification for the standard of their services could provide an added boost.
Some agencies in Bhutan, like Bhutan Power Corporation, have already obtained certification for their management from the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). What the ISO certification indicates is that the business operations of the agency is as efficient as possible and that it conforms to international standards, whereby its products or services are reliable and safe.
This certification is obviously derived through an audit carried out by inspectors from abroad assisted by the Bhutan Standards Bureau.
However, there is a con. Such certifications cost.
But there is a window. The Bhutan Standards Bureau can help agencies interested in being certified, to develop standards, and find expertise to aid in the process.
Having standards in place would be particularly important for agencies or sectors that have a significant impact on the public like health and food. By ensuring that international standards are met or even exceeded in these areas in terms of management and service delivery should be the goal. By conforming to a higher level of standards, we would have a healthier and happier society, which would have a positive bearing in other areas.
Having standards developed for agencies that deal with public service delivery could be pursued or at least explored. If the intention is to improve public service delivery, there is no reason to not adopt standards and be regularly inspected on whether these standards are being met.
We can all agree that public service delivery requires improvement. By moving in the direction of having standards in place, either locally developed in collaboration with the Bhutan Standards Bureau, or in line with international requirements, will not only improve service delivery but also the country’s economy.