29 January 2008

Civil service dedicated to serve at all times, says Sidek

The Star

PUTRAJAYA: There will be no digital divide when it comes to the public delivery service.

Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan stressed that although many services are now available online, those who do not have access to the Internet will continue to receive services through traditional means.

“The essence here is ‘One Service, One Delivery and No Wrong Door’. By this I mean, where Internet and broadband are not available, we must continue to run face-to face counter services and other channels of services for services now available online, for instance,” he said.

“Where Internet and broadband are available and skills are not, we need to train our customers to access and use online services, especially in rural and kampung areas, by providing customer kiosks, education in school, training adults and supporting the elderly.”

Sidek said this is one area the public service is working towards in the poverty eradication programmes and initiatives.

“The fundamental here is to facilitate and provide user-friendly services effectively, be it through the Internet or counter service, by always placing the customer at the core of all services rendered,” he said.

“Our quality of services must not be driven by digital divides. It cannot be short-changed and lost by the advancement of technology. Therefore, the fundamental measure required here is to train officials to be adaptable to customers from all walks of life.”

This was among the issues addressed by the Chief Secretary in an interview with The Star on the challenges for the public service as a new year begins.

Sidek said all civil servants must understand that the office is not a room or a specific location.

“In these times of developing technology and virtual office, your office can be wherever you move,” he said.

“My colleagues who travel abroad respond to mails and phone calls. I have seen many of my other colleagues who have responded to e-mail throughout the night, even after 10pm.

“I credit that to dedication and accessibility of technology. You need both.”

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