Kilkenny County Council
Customer Action Plan
Kilkenny County Council Customer Action Plan
CUSTOMER ACTION PLAN
In their dealings with the public Kilkenny County Council are committed to taking a number of significant steps over the next number of years to improve its services. Some of these will yield immediate improvements at certain points of contact such as improvements in information technology, improvements to public offices and improved quality of the telephone service.
Kilkenny County Council are committed to the following:-
QUALITY SERVICE STANDARDS:
Publish a Customer Charter that outlines the nature and quality of service which customers can expect, and display it prominently at the point of service delivery.
Ensure the rights to equal treatment established by equality legislation, and accommodate diversity, so as to contribute to equality for the groups covered by the equality legislation (under the grounds of gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religious belief, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller Community).
Identify and work to eliminate barriers to access to services for people experiencing poverty and social exclusion, and for those facing geographic barriers to services.
Provide clean, accessible public offices that ensure privacy, comply with occupational and safety standards and, as part of this, facilitate access for people with disabilities and others with special needs.
Take a proactive approach in providing information that is clear, timely and accurate, is available at all points of contact, and meets the requirements of people with specific needs. Ensure that the potential offered by Information Technology is fully availed of and that the information available on public service websites follows the guidelines on web publication.
Continue the drive for simplification of rules, regulations, forms, information leaflets and procedures.
TIMELINESS & COURTESY:
Deliver quality services with courtesy, sensitivity and the minimum delay, fostering a climate of mutual respect between provider and customer.
Give contact names in all communications to ensure ease of ongoing transactions.
Maintain a well-publicised, accessible, transparent and simple-to-use system of dealing with complaints about the quality of service provided.
Similarly, maintain a formalised, well-publicised, accessible, transparent and simple-to-use system of appeal/review for customers who are dissatisfied with decisions in relation to services.
CONSULTATION & EVALUATION:
Provide a structured approach to meaningful consultation with, and participation by, the customer in relation to the development, delivery and review of services. Ensure meaningful evaluation of service delivery.
Provide a range of choices, where feasible, in service delivery. Use available and emerging technologies to ensure maximum access and choice, and quality of delivery.
OFFICIAL LANGUAGES EQUALITY:
Provide quality services through Irish and/or bilingually and inform customers of their right to choose to be dealt with through one or other of the official languages.
Foster a more coordinated and integrated approach to delivery of public services.
Ensure staff are recognised as internal customers and that they are properly supported and consulted with regard to service delivery issues.
Kilkenny County Council are committed to the principles of Quality Customer Service approved by the government and has introduced this Action Plan which sets out how we will implement these principles and achieve our service targets over the next four years. In addition we will integrate training on customer service issues into general training courses and council procedures and practices. Improvements in service delivery are expected to arise from increased utilisation of information and electronic technologies. These include the new financial management system. A customer service ethos will be promoted throughout the organisation and customers and staff will be encouraged to comment and improve upon existing practices.
CUSTOMER ACTION PLAN:
What you can expect from us?
Kilkenny Local Authorities are committed to delivering an efficient courteous and quality service to its customers. We will treat all our customers equally ensuring that there is no discrimination on any grounds. We will be sensitive to our customers needs and take into account their age, their capacity to understand often complex rules and procedures and any disabilities they may have.
When providing service by telephone we will aim to:
- Staff will be available to take your call from 9.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. Monday to Friday.
- Be helpful and provide you with clear and accurate information.
- Always give you a contact name and telephone number.
- Respond properly and courteously.
- Take details and call you back if we cannot answer your query immediately.
- Indicate when you can expect to hear from us if we have to call you back.
- Provide an improved telephone system for our customers.
- Keep internal telephone directories up-to-date.
If you visit our offices we will aim to:
- Meet with you punctually if you have an appointment
- Respect your privacy.
- Deal with you in a polite, courteous and fair manner.
- Deal with your enquiry and provide any relevant information that we have as quickly as possible.
- Keep our offices clean and safe.
- Continue to improve accessibility for all our customers including people with a disability and special needs.
- Note: Due to work commitments it may be necessary to make an appointment in advance to meet with some members of staff.
In corresponding with you we will aim to:
- Use clear and simple language and keep the technical terms to a minimum.
- Include a contact name, telephone and extension number, e-mail address and reference number on all correspondence that we issue.
- Make arrangements to ensure that letters do not go unanswered when individual staff members are absent.
- Some correspondence requires considerable research before a full reply can issue and when this happens we will send you an interim reply explaining the position.
- Ensure that service departments are allocated an e-mail address.
- Ensure that all payments are made in accordance with provisions of the Prompt Payments Act, 1997.
In producing forms and leaflets we will aim to:
- Ensure that leaflets and forms are freely available, including in electronic format.
- Use clear and simple language.
- Explain exactly what information is required on application forms.
- Request only relevant information on application forms.
- Ensure that data supplied on forms will only be used for the purpose for which it is given.
- Produce all documentation in a range of accessible formats suitable to the needs of people with disabilities.
- If you are not happy with the quality of service we provide you are entitled to make a complaint to the section head of that service.
- If you are not satisfied with the response received, you should contact the Complaints Officer, Corporate Affairs, Kilkenny County Council, County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny, in writing, who will respond to your complaint in writing within twenty eight days of receipt of complaint.
- You may also have a statutory right to complain to the Ombudsman whose role is to investigate complaints about administrative actions, delays or inaction adversely affecting persons or bodies that are dealing with the County Council.
- All complaints will be dealt with properly, fairly and impartially.
Information and Communications Technology:
- New technology will be availed of to the greatest possible extent to make services more accessible and improve service delivery.
- Over the period of the plan the information technology systems within Kilkenny Local Authorities including the telephone system will continue to be upgraded.
- Kilkenny County Council will ensure that staff are recognised as internal customers and that they are properly supported and consulted with regard to service delivery issues.
- A comprehensive customer service-training programme for our staff will be implemented throughout the plan period.
Co-Ordination of Services:
- Kilkenny County Council will foster a more co-ordinated and integrated approach to delivering of services.
- Kilkenny County Council will provide during the plan period one-stop shop facilities for the public.
Official Language Equality:
- Kilkenny County Council will provide in so far as possible quality services through Irish and/or bilingually and inform customers of their right to choose to be dealt with through one or other of the official languages.
- Kilkenny County Council will provide a range of choices, where feasible, in service delivery.
- Kilkenny County Councill will use available emerging technologies to ensure maximum access and choice, and quality of delivery.
Consultation and Evaluation:
- Kilkenny County Council will provide a structural approach to meaningful consultation with, and participation by, the customer in relation to development, delivery and review of services.
- Kilkenny County Council will use the Strategic Policy Committees as one of the approaches to evaluating our service delivery.
- Kilkenny County Council will provide a comment sheet on our website [www.kilkennycoco.ie] to facilitate customers who may wish to make suggestions or comments on the services which we provide.
Review of Customer Action Plan:
- Kilkenny County Council will review the customer action plan on a yearly basis and will take into account feedback from its customers and the strategic policy committees.
- Kilkenny County Council's Customer Service Working Group will meet on a quarterly basis. Monitoring the Customer Action Plan will be one of the key tasks within this groups remit.
The Customer Charter, Complaint Procedure and Customer Action Plan is available in Adobe Acrobat format:
Download the Customer Charter, Code of Conduct, Complaint Procedure and Customer Action Plan.