Commitment 5: Enhance Customer Engagement

Commitment 5: Enhance Customer Engagement

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To ensure that the delivery of public services is focused on the needs of the customer, including those with diverse needs.

Objective: Build on long-standing efforts to provide quality public services, focusing on actions that build capacity and help to create a culture of openness and responsiveness to the customer.

Status quo: Customer engagement efforts fall within the broader idea of Citizen Engagement and democratic reforms that include public participation, public involvement, participatory democracy, deliberative democracy, and collaborative governance, which all recognise and build upon the idea that citizens should have a say in the decisions that affect their lives1.

Improving in how the Public Service engages with its customers, and improving service design and delivery, is a core part of the Public Service Reform Programme. Existing initiatives include:

The Quality Customer Service (QCS) Officers Network

Customer Charters and Customer Action Plans

Surveys of Civil Service Customers

Developing ‘Universal Design for Customer Engagement’ toolkits

Promoting the use of Plain Language

 

The consultation process to create this action plan identified the need to promote knowledge of these initiatives across public sector bodies and to ensure that the design of services takes account of customers with diverse needs. A review of citizens’ complaints procedures undertaken as part of Ireland’s first OGP National Action Plan 2014-2016 and a Review of Customer Charters and Customer Service Action Plans in the Civil Service under the Public Service Reform Plan 2014-2016 set out the progress that has been made in the area of customer engagement and identified steps for further progress.

 

The development of a new Public Service Reform Plan for the period 2017-2019 is underway. This will continue the focus on improving customer service. Transposing the recent EU Directive on the Accessibility of Public Sector Bodies Websites will help address digital exclusion.

Ambition: To ensure that public services are designed and delivered in ways that focus on providing value to the customer or user of those services by making customer engagement integral to the design and delivery of those services.

The milestones to fulfil this commitment, set out below, will enhance the capacity to evaluate and report on longstanding initiatives to improve customer experiences.

Timeline: January 2017 to June 2018

 

Commitment 5:

Enhance Customer Engagement

OGP values

Civic participation, Public accountability

New or ongoing commitment

New

Lead implementation organisations

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Department of Justice and Equality

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

Centre for Excellence in Universal Design

OGCIO

Other actors involved - government

All government departments and public bodies

Verifiable and measurable milestones to fulfil the commitment

New or ongoing

Start date

End date

Enhance reporting on progress made in meeting standards and commitments in Customer Charters and provide reports in open data formats. We will similarly report on efforts to:

Promote the use of plain language

Promote universal design

Address Digital Exclusion

Comply with the Public Sector Duty under Section 42 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014

New

January 2017

June 2018

Design and introduce structured reporting on responses to any issues identified in surveys of Civil Service customers and provide reports in open data formats.

New

January 2017

June 2018

Encourage public bodies to engage with their customers in the development, delivery and review of services.

New

January 2017

June 2018

Provide training in Customer Service and Communication Skills to improve the quality and consistency of customer engagement across the Civil Service

Ongoing

 

June 2018

Commitment 5
Many participants from our “People’s Conversation” project raised an objection in our conversations to the erosion of the role of “citizen” in their dealings with the public service. Increasingly...