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Putting service first in the public service

ALL Government departments, agencies and business enterprises who deal with the public will be required to develop customer service charters under principles released in Canberra today (WED) by the Minister for Small Business and Consumer Affairs, Geoff Prosser.

Launching the guide Putting Service First - Principles for Developing a Service Charter, Mr Prosser said the guide will assist continuous service improvement in the Public Service.

"This guide is part of our commitment to improve the quality of services to the public and ensure public funds are spent in an efficient and effective manner," he said.

"It will place customers squarely at the forefront of public service provision.

"I expect to announce a timetable for service charter implementation by June 30 this year, and I have asked the Small Business Division within my Department to implement this initiative by giving practical help in the development of service charters and the development of best practice.

"I will be taking a personal interest in cross-agency performance in this area, and am especially keen to ensure that there is a rigorous but flexible approach to service charters across the APS."

Mr Prosser launched the publication at a seminar organised by the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals in Business Australia, the Commonwealth Ombudsman's Office, the Department of Industry, Science and Tourism and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The service charter principles are available on the Internet at http://diw.dist.gov au/launchpad/menu.html or by writing to the Service Charters Implementation Unit, Small Business and Consumer Affairs Division, DIST, Lionel Murphy Building, Blackall St Barton ACT 2600, ph. 06 250 6959.

Further information:

Simon Troeth, Minister's office, 06 277 7790; 0419 412 715