The Ministry of Economic Development, together with the Administrative Services Reform Office and with the support of the USAID Program, presented a standard of service provision at Administrative Services Centers (ASC) – “Standard requirements for the quality of services at ASCs”. This is a collection of rules, requirements and recommendations concerning service and etiquette, based on the best ASCs practices. The purpose of the standard is to improve the quality of services and ensure the same quality of service, regardless of the geographical location of an ASC, to create a system for monitoring the timing and quality of service provision, including through regular customer feedback. “This document is a methodological recommendation for administrators’ activity. It is not a regulatory document – these are elements of good style. […] The main objective of the document is to create a customer-oriented approach to service provision,” said Oleksandr Andrieiev, project manager of the Administrative Services Reform Office, at a presentation at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
“ASC is a front office. It must be customer-oriented, accessible both physically and electronically. These are three strategic goals,” stressed Volodymyr Semenikhin, Head of the Administrative Services Reform Office. “Today, a lot of trainings and seminars are held for ASC employees, related to the current legislation, the procedure for providing services, but few pay attention to an appropriate way of communicating with people applying for a service. […] Probably, these recommendations will not be new for everyone, but they may be good for young specialists entering this sphere,” said Oleksandr Kamenchuk, head of the system of administrative services development unit of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine.
“Our program, together with the Ministry and the Reform Office, aspires to put into practice the idea of a service state, and this standard will help attain this goal. We hope that the system of public administration, relationship between government bodies and local authorities with service receivers will be radically revised,” added Olha Voitovych, Program Specialist of the USAID program «Leadership in economic governance» (USAID LEV).
The document is divided into two parts. The first concerns administrators’ activities, the second one – activities of an ASC head. Requirements and recommendations for administrators cover the entire spectrum of administrative communications with citizens – the process of providing a service at the ASC, as well as telephone and e-mail communication. Special recommendations are given for dealing with “difficult” clients and actions in conflict situations, for example, when someone attempts to offer money, candies, flowers, etc.
To ensure maximum efficiency – ideally, no more than 20-25 minutes for receiving services – it is recommended to monitor the administrators’ workloads, minimize paperwork and promote e-receipt of services. Managers are encouraged to introduce video recording of service provision for preventing malpractice and making possible an analysis of conflict situations. They are also recommended to conduct daily briefings with staff for discussing urgent issues as well as to take regular measures to ensure advanced training and psychological relief of staff. The quality of service provision should be checked and analyzed by such indicators as the number of e-queue tickets in the box, information in the customer feedback book and survey of visitors.
Natalia Slynko, Deputy Program Director of the USAID program «Leadership in economic governance» (USAID LEV), noted that all the employees of the Administrative Services Centers will be provided with the brochures containing the standard.
The ASC representatives noted their readiness to implement the standard in daily work. “Since under the law an ASC is a working body or unit of the authorities, it should become the face of the service, with the approaches used by international companies. Therefore, this document is a guide both for the heads of centers and for the heads of territorial communities to be created and organizing the work of ASCs in terms of the aspects to be used in practical work so that the face of the authorities would be customer-oriented,” said Natalia Shamrai, head of the All-Ukrainian Association of Administrative Services centers.
“We will start holding seminars for administrators according to this standard to increase awareness. I hope this will help us improve the quality of service provision at rural and city ASCs, and make the standard a platform for further work,” added Liudmyla Murakhovska, head of the Organization of Administrative Services department of the Mykolaiv Regional Administration.
To support the implementation of the standard, the USAID LEV Program will organize a series of training sessions for the administrators and heads of ASCs. “In July we plan to hold the first training in our pilot region, and then – in all pilot regions of the program. Thus, all heads of ASCs and partly administrators will be trained,” informed Olha Voitovych. It is also planned to create an electronic version of the training materials and a video course, which will make it accessible to all ASC administrators. In addition, the service provision standards will be posted as placards in the ASC halls to provide visitors with a benchmark for assessing the quality of service provision.