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RATIONALE OF A CITIZEN’S CHARTER

RATIONALE OF A CITIZEN’S CHARTER

  • A Citizen’s Charter is the expression of an understanding between citizens and the provider of a public service with respect to the quantity and quality of services the former receive in exchange for their taxes. It is essentially about the rights of the public and the obligations of the public servants.
  • As public services are funded by citizens, either directly or indirectly through taxes, they have the right to expect a particular quality of service that is responsive to their needs and is provided efficiently at a reasonable cost.
  • The Citizen’s Charter is a written, voluntary declaration by service providers about service standards, choice, accessibility, non‑discrimination, transparency and accountability. It should be in accordance with the expectations of citizens.                                        RATIONALE OF A CITIZEN’S CHARTER
  • Therefore, it is a useful way of defining for the customers the nature of service provision and explicit standards of service delivery.
  • A further rationale for the Charters is to help change the mindset of the public official from someone with power over the public to someone with the right sense of duty in spending the public money collected through taxes and in providing citizens with necessary services.          RATIONALE OF A CITIZEN’S CHARTER

However, the Citizen’s Charter should not simply be a document of assurances or a formula which imposes a uniform pattern on every service.

It is meant to be a tool kit of initiatives and ideas to raise the level of standards and service delivery and increase public participation, in the most appropriate way.        RATIONALE OF A CITIZEN’S CHARTER

The Charter should be an effective tool to ensure transparency and accountability and should help deliver good governance if implemented vigorously by the government departments.

If successfully implemented, the charter can enable the following:

  • Improved service delivery;
  • Greater responsiveness of officials towards the public; and
  • Greater public satisfaction with services.              RATIONALE OF A CITIZEN’S CHARTER

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