DEPT HEADS TO FACE RAP FOR POOR SERVICE
By Hamidah Atan
Heads of department will be held responsible for the failure of their frontline staff and operators to answer telephone calls. Disciplinary action, including transfer, can be taken if repeated complaints were received against the departments or agencies concerned.
Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Samsudin Osman said as heads of department, they should be held accountable.
"They should take the trouble to check (if there are complaints) and not just turn a deaf ear as this would defeat our effort to enhance the public service delivery system."
He was commenting on the long-standing grouse about poor service rendered by telephone operators or receptionists in the civil service.
The complaints often range from calls that go unanswered to queries that get passed from one officer to another.
This is not the first time Samsudin has reminded heads of department.
In February, he told them to experience for themselves the response from their frontline staff, adding that by doing this, they could check on their efficiency.
Samsudin had said they could pretend to be members of the public in telephone calls made to the general line of their respective departments.
Such calls would reveal if staff were courteous and gave proper answers.
Today, after presenting prizes to winners of the Putrajaya Half Marathon here, Samsudin, who is also Perbadanan Putrajaya chairman, said he would go "undercover" again to gauge their efficiency.
The marathon, which attracted more than 8,000 local and foreign participants, was organised by Putrajaya Holdings Sdn Bhd and Perbadanan Putrajaya.
New Straits Times 12 Sept 2005