Citizen’s charter

A citizen’s charter is a document that outlines an organization’s systematic attempts to meet the needs of its constituents, as well as the organization’s vision, mission, and values.
It was initially formulated and implemented as a national program in 1991 in the United Kingdom. The Citizens’ Charter’s main goal is to empower citizens in terms of public service delivery.

Basic principles of citizens charter 

As originally stated, the Citizens’ Charter movement’s six principles were:

  1. Quality: Improving the quality of services;
  2. Choice: Wherever possible;
  3. Standards: Specify what to expect and how to act if standards are not met;
  4. Value: For the taxpayers’ money;
  5. Accountability: Individuals and Organisations; and
  6. Transparency: Rules/ Procedures/ Schemes/Grievances.

Issues faced by citizens charter movement 

  • Lack of awareness and knowledge, as well as insufficient publicity, have resulted in a loss of faith among service seekers.
  • There is no training provided to the operational and supervisory staff.
  • Infrastructure and initiative are lacking.
  • Hierarchy gap between the Officers and the Operative Staff-Need of team effort
  • Officers and staff have different mindsets- Supervisors and staff are insensitive since they have not yet been sensitized.
  • Due to a lack of motivation and accountability, the staff is not ready to take on the responsibility.
  • Non-revision of rules and procedures, as well as cumbersome and restrictive rules and procedures

Significance of citizens charter movement 

  • The need for effective governance for long-term economic and social development has been recognized all throughout the world.
  • Transparency, accountability, and administration responsiveness are the three basic characteristics of successful governance. “The “Citizens’ Charters” initiative is a response to the need to find solutions to challenges that citizens face while working with government agencies.
  • Citizens’ Charter is a concept that enshrines the relationship of trust between the service provider and its users.

A Citizens’ Charter is not an endpoint in itself, but rather a vehicle for ensuring that the citizen is always at the center of any service delivery mechanism. Applying best practice models like the Sevottam Model (a Service Delivery Excellence Model) can aid Citizen Charter in becoming more citizen-centric.

Discuss the basic principles of citizens’ charter movement. Explain the issues faced by this movement and its significance. (10mark) (150 words)

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