Members of the public can now vote for the public sector entity that is delivering the best customer service through the Public Sector Customer Service Competition 2012/13. Nominations are open for entries to the competition designed as one method of rewarding key performers in the National Customer Service Programme under the Public Sector Modernisation Division, Office of the Cabinet. The deadline for receipt of all nominations and submissions is January 31, 2013. Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank held on December 5 at the agency’s head office in Kingston, Communication Consultant at the Public Sector Modernisation Division, Cabinet office, Fabian Brown, said the competition provides an opportunity for the public to encourage, highlight and support the work of public sector workers in the various entities. “We are looking for the best customer service entity, we’re looking for the most-improved entity, we’re looking for the best customer service officer, we are looking for the most creative entity in these challenging economic times,” he said. Mr. Brown reminded the public that voting for a government organisation should not be limited to the “big names” only, noting that, “it is also the post offices, the individuals in every nook and cranny in the Jamaican landscape. Wherever there is public service being given, the opportunity for you to recognize and highlight the quality of service is at hand.” He said that all public sector bodies are eligible to participate, including central civil service organizations, executive agencies, public companies, statutory bodies and government departments. The winners for some categories will be chosen based on feedback and nominations collected from members of the public island-wide. Additionally, he said that presentations will be done by entities seeking to justify why they should be recognised for a prize. The Communication Consultant noted the increasing willingness from members of the public to express their opinions on the quality of service received from government organisations. He stated that voting has increased from approximately 2,000 in the first staging of the competition in 2001 to a high of 28,000 at the last staging of the competition in 2010/11. “That is very encouraging because it says to us that the public is really looking out and demanding good quality customer service from the public sector, which is a good thing, and so the Modernisation Division of the Cabinet Office is really about supporting and engaging persons towards this end,” he said. Persons can vote for any public sector entity or individual of their choice by using the toll free line 1888-991-2752 or by voting online at www.cabinet.gov.jm . Customers can also place their entry forms in voting boxes available at the various entities. Nominations are not restricted to the entity at which persons are doing business. The National Customer Service Programme, which was implemented in 1994 by the Public Sector Modernisation Division, was created to recognize and reward efforts of organizations to improve service delivery to customers. It is also intended to promote and encourage commitment to, and continuous improvement in the quality of service in the public sector.
ST. ANTHONY, N.L. – Mother Nature came through in a big way to help cap off an annual Newfoundland iceberg festival.The icebergs moved in, bringing with them a special visitor — a polar bear.After people donned costumes for the polar bear dip Sunday morning in Raleigh, N.L., a real polar bear came ashore that evening in nearby St. Lunaire-Griquet on Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula.Thresa Burden, who lives in the town, says the healthy-looking bear wandered curiously near some sheds along the shoreline.She says the bear was seen swimming towards an opening to the Atlantic Ocean and has not been spotted today, so its assumed the animal hopped back on the pack ice to continue its journey.Burden says it’s not unusual for a polar bear to come ashore in the community, but it was surprising to see one so late into spring.