Empowering the Customer

The Citizen in Public Sector Reform

Paperback: £25.00

Empowering the Customer

Contributors: Victor Ayeni
Series Title: Managing the Public Service: Strategies for Improvement
Publication date: 1 January 2001
Size: 240mm x 165mm
ISBN: 978-0-85092-649-1
Pages: 74

The publication series, Managing the Public Service: Strategies for Improvement, provides the reader with access to the experiences and the success of elected and appointed officials from across the Commonwealth. The current title, Empowering the customer, is a continuation of this series.

Redefining citizens as customers is a central concept in the current public sector reforms. To this end, various market-oriented measures, public-private partnerships and new performance management approaches have been introduced, in addition to traditional consumer protection mechanisms, to promote genuine empowerment of the customer.

This publication explores some of these recent strategies based on Commonwealth best practice. It presents, among other things, guidelines on developing clients’ charters, setting appropriate standards for public services, and meeting the expectations of the socially deprived. The public sector is of course remarkably different from business, and not easily amenable to the conditions of a perfect market environment. The publication addresses some of the implications of this issue for the implementation of the new management theory. It provides "hands-on" materials and policy ideas for governments, practitioners and experts.

ContentsExpand or collapse me

I. Introduction
Thinking Differently
Empowered Customer

II. Developing Customer Orientation
The Continuing Demand for Quality
Citizens as Customers
Recent Initiatives

III. Empowering the Socially Deprived
The Socially Deprived and Vulnerable
Meeting the Needs of Socially Deprived Groups
Giving Voice to the Vulnerable

IV. Charters and Service Standards
What is a Service Charter?
Charter Themes and Development
Impact and Achievements

V. Developing and Implementing Service Charters
Key Implementation Steps
Problems to Watch

VI. The Service Charter in Practice
The Charter in Operation since 1991
What has the Charter Achieved?
Future Plans for the Charter

VII. Consumer Protection Institutions and Strategies
Consumer Organisations
Consumer Education and Representation

VIII. Consumer Organisations at Work
The ‘Space’ for Consumer Organisations
The History of the Consumers’ Organisation of Canada since 1897
Four Institutions Crucial to Market Success
What Does the Canadian Experience Mean for Other Countries

IX. Product Testing and Quality Assurance
Comparative Product Testing
Safety Standards and Ensuring Quality


Appendix 1. Excerpts from the Charter for the Public Services in Africa
Appendix 2. Sample Service Charter (NHS, United Kingdom)