Basics and Background:
- Sevottam is an assessment – improvement model that has been developed with the objective of improving the quality of public service delivery in the country.
- Sevottam Modelis a model proposed by 2nd ARC (Administrative Reforms Commission) for public Service Delivery.
- The model was conceived by the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG), Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions in 2006.
- The word “Sevottam” is a combination of two Hindi words: Seva (Service) and Uttam (Excellent). It means “Service Excellence”, emphasizing the idea of “Service”.
- It symbolises the change in mindset within the Government, from administration and control to service and enablement. The model was suggested by 2nd ARC in its 12th report Citizen Centric Administration.
The model has three modules:
- Citizen Charter
- Public Grievance Redressal Mechanism
- Services Delivery Capabilities
- The first component of the model requires effective charter implementation thereby opening up a channel for receiving citizens’ inputs into the way in which organizations determine service delivery requirements. Citizens’ Charters publicly declare the information on citizens’ entitlements; making citizens better informed and hence empowering them to demand better services.
- The second component of the model, ‘Public Grievance Redress’ requires a good grievance redress system operating in a manner that leaves the citizen more satisfied with how the organization responds to complaints/grievances, irrespective of the final decision.
- The third component ‘Excellence in Service Delivery’, postulates that an organization can have an excellent performance in service delivery only if it is managing the key ingredients for good service delivery well, and building its own capacity to continuously improve delivery.
Benefits of Sevottam model:
- The framework enables implementing organisations to undertake a systematic, credible and authenticated self-assessment (or ‘gap analysis’) for citizen-centric service delivery. Using this analysis, practical solutions are gradually and systematically incorporated into the organisation’s day-to-day routine thereby ensuring sustainable results.
- There are four broad ways in which the Sevottam model can be used:
- As a self – assessment tool by organisations already motivated to improve service delivery
- As a requirement standard
- As a benchmark assessment process to be established
- As a rating model to recognise and reward organisations that are doing commendable work in service delivery.
Seven Steps for the implementation of the model:
- Define services and identify services
- Set standards and norms for each service
- Develop capability to meet the set standards
- Perform to achieve the standards
- Monitor the performance against the set standards
- Evaluate impact through an independent mechanism
Continuous improvement based on monitoring and evaluation.
- Initially, Sevottam framework was undertaken from April 2009 to June 2010 in ten Departments of the Government having large public interface. These are, Department of Post, CBEC, CBDT, Railways, Passport office, Pensions, Food Processing, Corporate Affairs, Kendriya Vidyalaya Schools and EPFO.
- Later, Sevottam has been launched as a certification scheme which provides for the award of the Sevottam symbol of excellence to public service organisations that implement and are able to show compliance to a set of management system requirements that have been specified in a specially created standard document. This standard, known as IS 15700:2005, was developed by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) based on the objectives of Sevottam.
- The standard takes into account unique conditions of service delivery by Public service organisations in India and the sectoral and regional variations in service delivery standards. It offers a systematic way to identify weaknesses in specific areas and rectify them through systemic changes and process reengineering. India is among the first countries in the world to have a Quality Standard for public service delivery.
Quality management principles:
Sevottam model prescribes seven principles to maintain quality-
- Customer focus
- Engagement of people
- Process approach
- Evidence based decision making
- Relationship management.
Time bound delivery of goods and services – The Law in Making:
- To ensure Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services, “the Right of Citizens for Time-bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011”, was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2011, but it lapsed with the term of the last House.
- The need of the hour is to identify delivery of services as a matter of right and bring legal provision for time bound delivery of services.
- Highlights of “the Right of Citizens for Time-bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011”:
- Every public authority was required to publish a Citizens Charter within six months of the commencement of the Act.
- A citizen may file a complaint regarding any grievance related to:
- a) citizens charter;
- b) functioning of a public authority; or
- c) violation of a law, policy or scheme.
- The Bill required all public authorities to appoint officers to redress grievances.
- Grievances were to be redressed within 30 working days.
- The Bill also provided for the appointment of Central and State Public Grievance Redressal Commissions.
- A penalty of up to Rs 50,000 to be levied upon the responsible officer or the Grievance Redressal Officer for failure to render services.
Some other states have also brought legislation to guarantee the right to public services delivery, but a Central law is required to provide an overarching framework across the country.
Sevottam is a continuing journey to revamp and refurbish our public service delivery systems to a level of excellence desired by the citizens. It incorporates e-governance solutions, process re-engineering, capability building of public servants and partnership with social groups to achieve transparency and accountability in the delivery systems and make the good governance a reality.