Empowering the Customer

The Citizen in Public Sector Reform

image of Empowering the Customer

One of the key ideas in current public sector reforms is that of citizens as customers. To this end, various marketoriented measures, privatisation of government enterprises and new performance management approaches have been introduced in addition to traditional consumer protection mechanisms to promote genuine empowerment of the customer. This publication explores some of these recent strategies based on Commonwealth best practice. It presents guidelines on developing clients’ charters, setting appropriate standards for public services, and meeting the expectations of the socially deprived. The public sector is of course remarkably different from business, and not easily amenable to the conditions of a perfect market environment. The publication addresses some of the implications of this issue for the implementation of the new management theory. It provides ‘handson’ materials and policy ideas for governments, practitioners and experts.



Consumer Protection Institutions and Strategies

The discussions so far have focused essentially on measures that primarily target the public sector. In this chapter and subsequent ones, we look at those consumer protection measures that have traditionally been targeted at private and business sector production processes. As we have noted, these are no less important in today's public sector environment, and in any event the state has an important responsibility to ensure that all aspects of production and service delivery are effectively regulated in the interest of the ordinary individual.


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