Wednesday, March 11, 2015

How about a Ministry to handle people’s grievances?

The daily dose of trying to clear the problems of our Citizens is without even a brief respite. If all Ministries are so inundated, I wonder, how if at all any of the Ministers, or their staff are able to get any work other than, sorting people’s problems, which they expect immediate relief, but reality dictates long drawn out investigative procedures in their clearance.  

I believe it would be far better for a Ministry or Department to be set up, staffed with suitably knowledgeable pool of Government servants, to handle these issues who can deal directly with the persons concerned, so that Ministers who really do not have any idea of the issues are NOT inundated with them, and have to merely get a team of staff, to draft letters and direct them to the appropriate Ministry, some of which may not be the Ministry to which the problem should be referred.

This huge waste of time and effort, which is currently clogging up the Government, can be handled in a methodical manner, where even the internet can be used to trace the progress of an issue, so a complainant will know at which stage his or her issue is being handled, reducing the clutter of phone calls and letters further crowding out the existing structure, leaving gridlock in its wake, and very disgruntled people.

I just had a calls from a PS member in the Kurunegala District with 5 different problems he was seeking advice on how they should be dealt with. I had to suggest a way of handling each, without merely writing to my Minister, asking for assistance which would just clog our systems, and not receive the relief. It would be most appropriate to identify the person who can actually resolve the issue, without assuming that any minister can personally intervene in each case for resolution.

A copy can be sent of the letter to the Minister of the related ministry to which the problem relates, in asking that assistance is given in resolving the matter, with his intervention, rather than assume that it is the letter from a minister which will begin investigative procedures.

No one thinks a problem through least of all the complainant. I find that few even give their phone numbers for contact, making it very difficult to speedily resolve a problem without being able to get the complainant to agree that he has gone about the issue in the wrong way!!

It is in this case that the Department or Ministry merely tasked with this can make a decision regarding the resolution and if they are unable to help, suggest a means to this resolution.

The people I deal with think that it is within 100 days that this problem will be solved, as otherwise there is NO chance of it ever being resolved.

Imagine the pressure we face in helping and the helpless state we find ourselves in when in that particular type of issue NO ONE has currently found relief. We cannot tell the people, who have got used to Minsters resolving ALL their problems, one way or another. With YAHAPALANAYA nothing is a sure bet until all the procedures are followed, and Ministers cannot force change or relief. No longer can change be imposed by fright, by demand and thuggery. So it is not too late for ONE avenue for problem solving. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what you are proposing is a one-stop-shop for citizens similar to the BOI being a one-stop-shop for investors. for whatever problem a citizen has they stop into the shop and it gets taken care of. this shop should be called the prime minister's office and orders sent out from there to deal with various problems. the ministers should have no contact with the public other than what issues are sent to them from the prime minister. this could be a more efficient system, as there could be measures for accountability in how responsive respective ministers were to the citizens that were sent their way. of course, this sounds more like a technocratic bureaucracy rather than the political system sri lanka has which includes elections during which individual ministers compete for votes from a particular area. change the system and let's become efficient !!