Citizen’s Charter and its Effectiveness: A Case Study of Department of Immigration and Passports

After independence in 1971, the successive governments in Bangladesh have embarked upon a number of administrative reforms aiming at making public service delivery more efficient, effective, and pro-people. The Citizen’s Charter initiative is one of those, which was introduced in 2007 with the stated goal of providing citizens with high-quality services within the ambit of transparency, responsiveness, and accountability. This paper examines the effectiveness of the Citizen’s Charter program in public organizations and the cultural compatibility of Bangladesh civil service towards that change—particularly focusing on the Department of Immigration and Passports (DIP). In this pursuit, the study explores and analyzes the various factors that determine the effectiveness of the Citizen’s Charter program in public organizations. Research findings reveal that though the Charter has had some positive impact on the demand side of public service delivery, there is hardly any effect on the supply side, owing to public servants’ lack of empathy towards clients’ needs and demands. The reasons are manifold. The co-existence of dual authorities affects the performance of DIP thereby influencing the service deliveries. Employees at DIP perform within a ‘top-down’ or rigid decision-making culture which is often disowned by the frontline staff resulting in their low enthusiasm and ownership of the core values of the Citizen’s Charter. The paper concludes with some suggestions to make the Citizen’s Charter effective and thus improve the governance quality.

Author: Razzaque, Farhana
Type: Working Paper
Year: 2012