Strengthening of Panchayat Directorates
The Department of Panchayats is the agency which is controlling and monitoring the activities of the Grama Panchayats which are the backbone of the Local government systems in the state. Even though many schemes and initiatives including KLGSDP are strengthening and capacity building of the department is still a challenge. Comparing with the infrastructural facilities and modernization happening in the grama panchayats, the situation of the district level offices and the headquarters of the department of panchayats is far below the standards. Therefore it was decided to strengthen the Panchayat Directorates using KLGSDP fund.
Government of Kerala had targeted 100% ISO Certification by the grama panchayats in state by the year 2016-17 and the department had initiated several activities for achieving the same. Currently 109 grama panchayats and 1 DDP office at Alappuzha obtained ISO certification. 695 GPs had approved projects during the year 2016-17 for obtaining ISO Certification. In this context the department intends to increase its service standards also and aims to obtain ISO Certification for all its district offices and the headquarters by the year 2016-17
With the existing budgetary support from the state it is very difficult for the Department of Panchayats to attain these achievements and therefore financial support from other sources is sought for the institutional strengthening and modernization of the district offices and headquarters of the Department of Panchayats.
- To enhance the institutional capacity of the Department of Panchayats, Government of Kerala including 14 district offices of the Deputy Directors/Assistant Directors of Panchayats and obtaining ISO 9001 certification for all its offices by 2016-17
- To obtain financial assistance for the infrastructural improvement and modernization of the offices of the Department of Panchayats including the district offices.
For increasing the institutional capacity of the department, various infrastructural and other improvements are necessary in the present system. With these improvements a complete facelift of the department is visualized. This is done keeping in mind the requirements of public who needs services from various offices of the department as well the requirements of the employees whose working environment is improved and their skills are developed to facilitate more output from them. By achieving the intended standards the Department of Panchayats will be the first in the state among the government departments to achieve ISO Certification for all its offices. This, along with 100% ISO Certification by all the Grama Panchayats in the state will be a model for state as well as for the country.
- ISO 9001 Certification
The Department intends to obtain ISO 9001 Certification for all its district offices and the headquarters. This will facilitate to improve the delivery of services it gives to the public as well as to the employees of the department. The ISO Certification will help achieving certain standard in the functioning of the offices. It gives an opportunity to rectify the flaws in the existing system and modify the process and procedures of the management system prevailing in the department. The ISO 9001 quality management systems standard offers a wide variety of benefits to the department. The quality standard is applicable to any organization who is seeking to improve their internal management and operational processes. The organizations who are completing ISO 9001 certification apply the standard throughout their organization, as opposed to at a particular department, of the organization. This will ensure that the Quality Management Systems that are adopted, work to improve the services and are not just a set of procedures. By adopting an approach that starts out to implement more efficient working practices and focuses on the objectives of the organization, you will achieve a system that will help and support your staff and improve your levels of citizen satisfaction. Introducing efficient Quality Management Systems will save time and cost, improve efficiency and ultimately improve the service delivery of the department to the public.
Some of the benefits on obtaining ISO Certificate are:
- Provides the department with an efficient management process
- Sets out areas of responsibility across the department
- Communicates a positive message to staff and citizens
- Identifies and encourages more efficient and time saving processes
- Highlights deficiencies
- Reduces your costs and time
- Provides continuous assessment and improvement
- Service Delivery on time
For obtaining the certification it is proposed to engage a consultancy firm for developing the systems and procedures. The cost for this will be met from the state funds.
3.2.Modernization of the Directorate
The existing condition of the office of the department was very congested and was hindering the smooth functioning of the office. The office situates in a very old building which requires a major overhauling to make it employee friendly and thereby increases the efficiency of the employees. To increase the standards of service delivery it is a prerequisite to create a cordial atmosphere for the employees to work. Moreover to make the process in ISO standards and to make the systems in place, proper rearrangement of the existing space available is needed. As there is no scope for getting more space for the functioning of the office, the currently available space is to be scientifically planned and converted into cubicle and workstations to provide sufficient working space to all the employees and officers.