03 Nov 2014 16:20pm
WINDHOEK, 03 NOV (NAMPA) - The Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration says the implementation of the 18-month turnaround strategy, which was adopted by the ministry in June this year, is going according to plan.
The turnaround strategy is meant to enable the ministry to deliver more effective and efficient services to the public.
Home Affairs Minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, who officially opened the first Namibia Customer Service Awards and Conference in the capital on Monday, said the turnaround strategy is a transformational change which aims to align people, processes and technology initiatives more closely with the Ministry of Home Affairs' business strategy and vision.
She added that her ministry aims to ensure a reduction in head office turnaround times for key documents such as identification documents (IDs), birth certificates, passports and death certificates.
Iivula-Ithana explained that the ministry's strategy is aggressive and they will endeavour to eliminate backlogs at all processing steps for each service; provide the required tools and processes to manage programmes; reduce queue times and also develop processes and implementation plans that produce tangible results.
We have heard your needs and wishes, our citizens. We are evolving and this takes time. Reliability, flexibility and accountability is part of our mandate that is why this strategy includes facilities such as a call centres, track-and-trace systems and improved border control systems, she stressed.
Iivula-Ithana noted that the Ministry of Home Affairs has been under the spotlight for many years, mainly due to its poor service delivery record.
She said poor customer service and poor service delivery is not an issue solely for the public sector, but also an issue that pervades the private sector.
The Namibian Government, she noted, has realised the need for better customer service and has invested time and money to solve these issues.
The Home Affairs Minister said at the Namibia Institute for Public Affairs Management (NIPAM), officials are drilled on the importance of creating a citizen-centred government, and this is leading to a mind change in the public sector.
She expressed concern that there are still many incidences of arrogant and exploitative market behaviour, often affecting the most vulnerable people and those without a voice in Namibia.
She said this is why the government plays an important role in consumer protection, by putting in place robust regulation and by creating an enabling competitive level playing field for enterprise.
The Namibia Customer Service Awards and Conference, where the minister was speaking, is organised by the Harold Pupkewitz Graduate School of Business (HP-GSB) at the Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN).
The conference was to feature presentations by international customer service experts from the United Kingdom (UK), Professor Howard Kendall (the Founder of Service Desk) and Professor Moira Clark of Strategic Marketing at Henley Business School in UK.
According to a media statement issued earlier by the HP-GSB, the conference was to culminate into the Namibian Customer Service Awards which are aimed at celebrating excellent customer service in Namibia. The awards will be held on Wednesday.
The awards will be for service sectors such as banks, education, energy, health, home affairs, insurance, municipal, post office, security, supermarkets, telecommunications and transport.
Finalists from each of the 12 sectors will be invited to the award ceremony on Wednesday, and there will be one winner for each sector and an overall winner.