Civil service: Improving the delivery system

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Tired of the long waits and the "tutup" counters? It's time to improve the image of the civil service? Here are some useful tips.

Select people based strictly on merit.  Abandon immediately selection based on ethnicity.

Permit no political interference with regard to selection, promotion or disciplinary action.

Ensure that employees clock-in personally and not get office-boys or others to do it for them.          

Make clocking-in and clocking-out for lunch breaks complusory.

Ensure that civil servants eat breakfat and lunch in their own time — not government time. Therefore, no government servant should go for breakfast after clocking in.  No one should be permitted to bring food into an office.  Currently, many government servants go for their lunch around twelve and use the official lunch break to sleep or rest!

Forbid use of handphones in offices during work hours.  Ensure that all handphones are put on silent mode and kept in a cupboard until work stops.  The amount of government time wasted by staff chatting on their handphones or sending sms is phenomenal.  Make one office phone available for staff use.

Place staff in government offices in cubicles, with non-transparent glass between, to prevent idle chatting.

Get all government servants, including bosses, to maintain a daily record of what was done during work hours.

Forbid use of ‘tutup’ signs at any service counter during working hours.  Ensure all counters function during  working hours.

Forbid use of answering machines.  Civil servants must attend to public queries, complaints speedily.

READ MORE:  How the civil service can help the poor

Make it mandatory for bosses to reply within three days to public complaints in the print media.  Bosses must make themselves available to journalists when they phone to seek information or clarification.  A boss unavailable for comment reflects badly on the efficiency of any department.

Get bosses to decide the day, date and time of meetings and courses well in advance and display the information prominently at the service counter for public information.

Ensure that the duties of civil servants attending meetings and courses or on leave are attended to by a competent officer.

Implement an open and transparent tender system for all projects immediately.  Anyone violating or even bending stipulated procedures must be dismissed.

Take the Auditor-General’s Report seriously.  Bring to book ministers, mentris-besar, chief ministers, heads of department and civil servants mentioned in the report for malpractice/corruption.  They should be dismissed or demoted.  For heaven’s sake, stop giving these people pangkat (higher positions)!

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