Thu | Jan 28, 2021

Customer service in gov’t offices

Published:Saturday | May 23, 2020 | 12:13 AM


IT IS annoying to go to government offices, and these days, the COVID-19 pandemic gets blamed for everything. Given COVID-19 and physical distancing norms, on Thursday, May 21, I spent 1 hour and 45 minutes just to get inside the Portmore Tax Office and about another 10 minutes to find out that there was an error on the document I had. A date on it was wrong. As a consequence, I had to revisit an institution in Kingston to have the error corrected and psyche up (mentally prepare) myself for a gruelling revisit the Portmore Tax Office. The collection of a title can only be done at the office where the document is located.

I would recommend that these offices consider root-cause analysis, which is a systematic process for identifying the root causes of problems and a solution-based approach for responding to them. It is based on the basic premise that effective management requires more than merely putting out fires for problems that arise but finding a way to prevent them. In short, “What can be done to prevent a recurrence?”

What can be done to generally mitigate against inordinately long waits? Could a floor walker with a tablet in hand, similar to private-sector institutions, make a difference?