News : National Environment and Planning Agency Pushes to Improve Customer Service
Nov 7, 2014 -- The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) has urged its customers to report incidents of poor customer service so that corrective measures can be taken by the agency.
Director of NEPA's Spatial Planning Division, Leonard Francis, said the agency was in the process of implementing the AMANDA System -- an electronic tracking system which will allow applications to be placed and tracked online. He said, too, that it will also simplify the application process and reduce the response timeframe for all applications to a maximum of 90 days.
Francis was addressing a recent Jamaica Information Service (JIS) 'Think Tank', held recently at the agency's head office.
The director said the system will allow customers to go online and see the status of their applications, providing they have a tracking number.
"AMANDA is a tool which every customer, as long as you have your unit tracking number, can actually use to see what is happening to your applications, so there will be less need for you to visit the agency to find out exactly what is happening to the application," he informed.
Additionally, he said customers can also use the toll free numbers to call and enquire about their applications.
"We have a walk-in policy. You could actually walk in and we could guarantee you that within a couple seconds or a couple minutes, you will see a customer service agent, who will actually take you through and answer your questions," the NEPA director said.
He cited the establishment of a Development Assistance Centre at NEPA as another area of improvement. Personnel at the centre, he said, will assist persons in developing their business ideas and to inform them of various policies pertaining to what they can and cannot do.
"In respect of the environment, persons may report on a manatee sighting; if persons are destroying the environment, and if there is a crocodile they are having an issue with. We also have numerous endangered plants and animals that we have to protect and to ensure that habitats survive," he added.
Francis said the agency has also increased its cadre of enforcement officers so that more people can actually go out and monitor the environment. He, however, credited the Tourism Enhancement Fund for providing the necessary funds to assist with the employment of personnel.
Meanwhile, the agency is preparing to enter the Public Sector Customer Service Competition, which falls under the Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation Programme, Office of the Cabinet.
The competition is one of the strategies implemented by Government to achieve higher levels of service delivery in public sector entities. It rewards entities that demonstrate service excellence in various categories, with winners being selected through public vote and independent judges.
Since the announcement of the competition in September, Francis said NEPA has begun assessing its customer service, in an effort to improve and sustain its service delivery.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, November 10, 2014