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.



Developing and Implementing Service Charters

The introduction of a customer- and people-orientated administration and the adoption of citizen's charters represent a paradigm shift in the way administration has hitherto functioned. Improving the public service process through charters entails, in reality, much more than the document in which the charter concepts are expressed. The former British Prime Minister John Major criticised a newspaper article for making the common mistake of equating the charter with the charter documents themselves.


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