Introduction 5 Background Information 5 Preliminary Findings 7


Quality / Citizen's Charters



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11 Quality / Citizen's Charters



Member State

A

B

Austria




Quality standards are mainly used by bigger cities like, for example, Linz. Regional Administration started to take interest in the year 2004.

Belgium

Yes, since 1998

At the federal level many federal public service (civil servant ministry, pension office, social security office, ministry of finance, ministry of economic, ministry of justice, ministry of mobility, ...) have described they services to the public. What they offer, the delay, …

We organised also consultation of stakeholder for the agency of the food security, the ministry of finance.

We have simplified a lot of formulaire for the food security.

The flemisch region has for all his administration and agencies charter. At the local level a great number of administration have described they engagement to the citizens.



Bulgaria

Yes, since 2002

The development and publication of CC is obligatory since end 2006, beginning of 2007. The guidelines were developed in 2002.

Cyprus

Yes



Czech Republic


Yes, since 2007

Pilot project "Improvement of customer services through service charters" was organised by Ministry of Interior and financed by SIGMA in 2006-2007. Participated 7 public agencies (from different PA sectors - environment, social care, transport, culture and leisure, audit, communities and associations) created and used their charters. A handbook with methodology and best practices was published in Czech and English version in the end of project.

Denmark

Yes, since 2005

Partly in use. Since the beginning of 2005 all organisations have to define citizens oriented goals, which are so clear that you can measure the results. The ministry responsible for the institution is also responsible for evaluating whether the goals have been accomplished or not. The results of these evaluations are available to the public. Link: http://www.fm.dk/db/filarkiv/9156/5.pdf

Estonia

Yes, since 2000

The decision of the Government in 2000 to launch the elaboration and implementation of citizen charters.This initative had two aims:

- To promote client-orientation in the public sector and to create service agreements between citizens as customers and public sector organisations


  • To link budget costs with real outputs and create some measurable indicators for the evaluation of performance of state agencies.


So far, quite many agencies have implemented citizen charters. The Ministry of Finance has gathered centrally this information twice a year and has published the according reports on its web-site.

Also Ministry of Finance provides trainings and information on this field to the agencies.



Finland

Yes, since mid 1990’s

There have been Citizen charters already in the mid 1990’s but this has never become a widely popular tool in Finland.

France

Yes,

“Marianne Charter (since 2005), “Marianne Label” (since 2008)



The Marianne Charter is a set of quality of service commitments that can be adapted to suit a wide range of user groups and services. Following general deployment in January 2005, it is now widely applied within public administration, by more than 2,000 departments and courts, as well as by other public bodies.
In 2006, the government transformed the Marianne Charter into Label Marianne – or Marianne seal of approval – which is backed by a set of standards similar to those used in service certification. An independent third party must conduct an on-site assessment before the seal of approval can be granted. Any entity that has a public service remit and that deals with users must apply the Marianne standards.
Label Marianne will enhance the quality of services provided to citizens and encourage the wider application of quality management principles.

The new system was trialled in November 2006 at 59 pilot sites, including administration departments, courts, local authorities and health care facilities. The aim was for these sites to be granted the seal of approval by the end of 2007. The test phase is used to fine-tune the standards and the support mechanisms ahead of a broader roll-out in 2008

The second version of set of standards was introduced in 2008, with a higher level of requirements for the reception, and new requirements regarding the quality of the service delivered.
http://www.thematiques.modernisation.gouv.fr/chantiers/234_58.html

http://www.thematiques.modernisation.gouv.fr/chantiers/239_59.html



Germany

Since the beginning of the 90ies

Since the beginning of the 90ies especially in the areas, which have the direct contact with the customers and citizens, the local area, e.g. in the fields of health, employment agencies and integration.

Greece

Not in use

Public organizations are obliged by law (Law 2690/1999) to respond to citizens requests within a deadline of 50 days. In case the request concerns issuing a certificate the deadline is 10 days. Moreover, every citizen can have access to public documents which concern him. Special Committees have been set up at central level in the Ministry of interior and at regional level in each of the 13 Peripheries of Greece to act as watchdogs. If the obligations are not observed a citizen can apply to a special committee requesting redress.

The same law provides that each public organization (i.e. ministry, municipality) can issue, if it wishes, a Citizen’s Charter where specific deadlines, standards of services, complain and redress procedures can be defined. However, the law grants the right and does not establish a legal obligation for public organizations to issue Citizens’ Charters. As a result a limited number of Citizens’ Charter has been issued.


Hungary

Yes

The government with the local governments and regional state administration agencies – with the voluntary assent of the concerned agencies - implemented the pilot project of the citizen’s charter successfully in Bács-Kiskun county. In the pilot, 12 public administration bodies have assumed the obligation to improve the quality standard of their services continually for the interest of the citizens.
Some public administration agencies apply citizen’s charter on a voluntary basis.

Ireland

Yes, since 2002

All Irish Public Service organisations are required to publish Customer Charters.

The Taoiseach (Prime Minister) launched the Customer Charter initiative in December 2002. Under the initiative, all Departments and Offices are required to publish Charters based around a four-step cycle of Consultation, Commitment, Evaluation and Reporting.



  • consultation with customers and front line staff in preparation of the Charter

  • commitment to clearly defined standards of service

  • evaluation of performance against standards

  • reporting publicly on the outcome of the evaluation process in their Annual Report

A Customer Charter is a short statement describing the level of service a customer can expect from a Government Department or Office. It should be concise and easy to read. It should be is easily accessible, displayed prominently in all public offices.

To facilitate the introduction of Customer Charters by Departments/Offices in early 2004, a comprehensive manual, ‘Customer Charters - Guidelines for Preparation’, was published by the Public Service Modernisation Division of the Department of the Taoiseach in September 2003. The guidelines are intended to provide a single point of reference for information on all aspects of preparation of Customer Charters. In consultation with CMOD, a series of bespoke training modules was developed for those civil servants engaged in developing Customer Charters to match each stage in the development of the Charter process


Italy

Yes, since 1993

The Citizens Charters were by a Prime Minister’s Directive approved in 1994 concerning the main service sectors (healthcare, education, public transportation, etc.) at all levels of government. A Technical Committee has been created for enforcing the Citizens Charters in Italian Public Administrations, but it has been suppressed in view of a more decentralized approach to the Citizens Charters.

Recently the Citizens Charters has become wide spread among those administrations or services which are much closer to the users, such as social services and particularly those administrations which have complied with the 1994 Directive.



Latvia

Yes

One of the most common examples of the Citizen Charters is the Citizen Charter of the Road Traffic Safety Directorate that has been elaborated during a larger project called “Client flow control system” 1997-2001 (http://www.csdd.lv/?pageID=1129535254 Latvian only)

Main characteristics of the quality of the services have been summarized also by the State Social Insurance Agency. (www.vsaa.gov.lv )

Ethical code of the civil servants in relation to the service delivery and client related issues has been introduced by State Revenue Service in 2007. (http://www.vid.gov.lv/default.aspx?tabid=4&id=2086&hl=2 the document in Latvian only)

Citizen Charters are very much spread around PA. The abovementioned examples are the best known, and maybe not much more examples could be found around PA institutions in Latvia.

No common charter for all PA in Latvia has been elaborated.


Lithuania

Not in use

In Lithuania we do not have Quality or Citizen’s Charters. But in Law on Public Administration there is a paragraph that regulates administrative procedures in public administration institutions. It defines what is administrative procedure, rights and duties of the participants, terms of the administrative procedures. Additionally we have Instructions of Investigation of Individuals’ Applications and Service in Public Administration Institutions and Other Public Administration Entities. Also there are more specific instructions defining standards for operation, communication and relations between public administration institutions and individuals.

Ministry of the Interior initiated the survey about the Citizen’s Charters. The aim of this study was: to compare Citizen’s Charters statements of EU member states with the laws, in the area of public services, to traverse the practical aspects of the usage of Citizen’s Charters <…>.



Luxembourg

Not in use

In design by the Administrative Reform, pilot projects to be started in the first half of 2008.

Malta

Yes, since 1999

Developed and maintained according to the Quality Service Charter Handbook.

The Netherlands

Yes, since 2005

Citizen’s Charters are a initiative of the Ministry of the Interior. The aim is to see that all organisations within the government that have direct contact with citizens have a Citizen’s Charter in 2011. See attachment for a broad outline of the method used in the Netherlands.

Recent developments are:


  • Since this year, we use focus groups to study the needs of citizens. Service norms in the Citizen’s Charters are based on these needs and not randomly chosen. Other methods we use to examine what citizens really want from municipalities, police forces, etc. are analyses of complains, front desk research, etc.

  • Until now, Citizen’s Charters are used to define what citizens can expect from a government service. Now, we also are stimulating the use of Charter’s for entrepreneurs.

Poland

Yes, since 2005 in tax administration.

A Clients Relation Strategy was developed and established in Tax Offices and Tax Chambers. It is a document regulating methods of work with clients (taxpayers) with a goal to assure tax administration clients satisfaction. The documents regulate also internal and external communication.

Apart from tax administration, single public institutions have also introduced different kinds of quality/citizen’s charter.



Portugal

Since 1993

Portugal approved the Quality Charter in public services; this project has begun in 1993 and since then many public services adopted this Charter as a tool to engage citizens in the quality policies.
This document refers to:

  • The organisation’s mission and its culture.

  • The goods and services they produce.

  • The quality policy.

  • The information and communication system.
  • The commitment assumed by the services in their relationship with the citizens: (citizen's rights to access information).


  • The complaints instruments.

Romania

Yes

Different authorities acting at the local level (prefects’ institutions) are using Citizen’s charter concept (eg. Bihor prefect institution http://www.prefecturabihor.ro/).
Romanian Government adopted a memorandum regarding “Necessary measures for improving the quality of public services” http://www.sgg.ro/docs/File/SGG/memo.pdf (available in Romanian language). The Memorandum contains a plan for the period 2007 – 2008 for improving the quality of some specific public services as: passports’ issuance, driving licenses, criminal records etc. Additionally, the Memorandum sets some guidelines for a general policy regarding the behavior of the public service providers towards the citizens.

Slovak Republic

Not in use




Slovenia

Not in use

In Slovenia we do not have citizen charters, yet we do have defined standards for operation, communication and relations with public administration customers. These standards are part of the regulations.

Spain

Since 1999

The Ministry of Public Administration and the Spanish Agency for the Evaluation of Public Policies and Quality of Services are promoting the developing of the Citizen’s Charters in Central Government Administration units.

A citizen’s charter is understood as a document in which a Central Government Administration body informs citizens and costumers about the services it is designed to provide, about its quality commitments and about costumers’ rights.

Royal Decree 951/2005, creating the General framework for quality improvement in Central Government Administration established 3 kinds of Citizen’s Charters:


  • Ordinary Citizen’s charters

  • Inter-Administrative Citizen’s charters

  • Electronic Citizen’s Charters, aiming to inform the citizens about the available electronic services, including the quality commitments undertaken, the advantages derived and the relevant citizen rights.

So far, more than 200 citizen’s charters have been published in Central Government Administration.

Most Autonomous Communities promote the developing of the Citizen’s Charters and have published a great quantity of them.

A big number of Municipalities committed with Quality is also developing citizen’s charters.




Sweden

NA




United Kingdom

Yes, since 1996

Charters and Charter Mark have been in use for many years. A new scheme (Customer service Excellence) was launched in 2008 which will over time replace the Charter Mark programme.

See:


www.chartermark.gov.uk

www.cse.cabinetoffice.gov.uk


LL regarding Quality / Citizen Charters
Finland

It seems that in Finish public administration other tools are favoured more.


Hungary

The government investigates the possibility of a nationwide use of the citizen’s charter system.


Italy

Citizens Charters have been mainly utilized as guidelines for services delivery. No refund is provided for citizens from those PAs which have adopted these standards but have not achieved them.



Spain

  • Citizen’s Charters cannot be just a formal declaration of intentions; their real sense is the assumption of quality commitments/standards to meet user needs.

  • Charters contents need to include the redress/exchange action to be taken where there is a breach of declared commitments

  • It is necessary to provide mechanisms and means for monitoring the implementation of the Citizen’s Charters

  • The certification process of a Citizen’s Charter must go beyond the charter contents to address its underlying methodology and development work, compliance with quality commitments, the indicators designated in the charter, and the criteria laid down for regular review.





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