Search is on for top civil servants

It’s never too late for senior civil servants, including the Governor himself, to get training to deliver better customer service, according to Governor Stuart Jack.

Mr. Jack, launching the second annual civil service customer excellence awards yesterday, said customer service training was important across all levels of management and seniority to ensure customers got the best of service.

‘We all have customers. There are quite a lot of you out there who I regard as my customers. We have customers within our own organisations, not just members of the public, and that is true at whatever level you are at in the public service… It is important we do it at all levels.’

He admitted that he had no plans to undergo customer service training himself this year, but had taken two training courses over the last year. ‘Even at my relatively advanced age, there is still plenty of training to do,’ he said.

Last year, 140 civil servants were nominated among the 300 nominations received from the public, and four winners were announced.

The nomination period for The Governor’s Five-Star Award for Customer Excellence opened Monday and closes on Saturday 15 November.

The Governor said the awards were an opportunity for members of the public to highlight the positive, rather than the negative, elements of dealing with civil servants.

‘Rather than always being negative, always saying things are going wrong, pointing the blame at people – and frankly there is too much of that in this community, as there is in many communities – what we need to do is recognise the people that are doing a good solid job, particularly those that are doing an outstanding job in dealing with customers,’ he said.

He also acknowledged that improvements were being made to the government’s complaints procedures to handle public complaints.

Chief Officer for the Portfolio of the Civil Service, Mary Rodrigues said the awards programme was created ‘to encourage, motivate and support all civil servants so they can continually improve their standards of public service delivery’.

She added that this year, the government was adding customer service training for staff, managers and leaders, through the Civil Service College.

‘The contents will break away from traditional classroom sessions, and instead will empower people with the skills and techniques to gauge their impact on customers, and mould their service delivery accordingly.’

The launch of this year’s nomination period for the awards comes at a time when some civil service departments, including the police and judiciary, are under a spotlight as investigations and inquiries are being carried out in a variety of allegations

Mr. Jack said the awards, while not specifically intended to help counter any negative publicity surrounding these investigations, may help boost morale within the civil service.

‘We started this award programme before these recent events developed; these events are mostly focussed on one or two aspects of government. If we are talking about the police for example, the vast, vast bulk of police officers are good guys trying to do a good job.

‘When you have a few problems you should not turn it into some sort of dreadful scenario of everything is doom and gloom because life is not actually like that,’ he said.

He added: ‘[The awards programme] is intended to be a morale booster, but we set this up way before these current issues arose.’

The Governor will choose the winners of the FACE awards after an independent committee reviews all nominations.

The public is urged to vote for a civil servant who has ‘gone the extra mile’ to deliver excellent service.

Drop boxes for nominations will be at government offices; post offices throughout the islands; the reception desk of the Government Administration Building; and the District Administration Building on Cayman Brac. Nominations can also be mailed to the Portfolio of the Civil Service, Government Administration Building, Grand Cayman KY1-9000.

This year, the public can also nominate their favourite civil servant online. More details can be found on www.face.gov.ky.

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