SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council has adopted its new “substantially different” Customer Service Charter.
The shire’s administration panel acting as the council voted to accept the revised Charter at the ordinary open council meeting held in the municipal chambers at Leongatha on Wednesday May 19, 2021.
The 16-page document is described by the council as being “substantially different” to the previous Charter and that it “better addresses key areas of improvement identified during an extensive peer review process.”
The council also considers that “the revised Charter sets agreed standards for employees to commit to, and [also] has an increased focus on customer service.”
The review of the Customer Service Charter was a 2020/21 annual initiative in the 2020/24 Council Plan and aims to meet the municipality’s Customer Focused Organisation strategic objective.
Among its preliminary pages the Charter notes that almost 30,000 people live in the 3295-square-kilometre South Gippsland Shire, with just over 11,000 people working within the shire’s boundaries who generate a yearly economic output worth $3.713 billion.
The Charter sets out the shire’s vision, values and commitment, its standards of behaviour, how the community can contact and also help the shire, how the shire will respond to the community, shire service levels, and how to lodge a complaint.
There is also information about and contact details for “external review agencies” such as the Victorian Ombudsman and Local Government Minister, and the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC).
Through the peer review process applied to the previous Charter, the council identified that the blanket 10-day period that has been used for responses to enquiries did not accurately reflect every section of the organisation.
The revised Charter now has publicly available service-specific standards to give the community a better indication of turnaround times.
Shire administration panel chair Julie Eisenbise said “having a detailed Customer Service Charter allows the community to have clear expectations when they engage with Council
“It also ensures that across the organisation, no matter who handles an enquiry, it is dealt with in the same way that reflects the values of Council,” she said.
“As administrators we are happy to support a charter that has a positive impact on both Council staff and the community that we serve.”
Read the South Gippsland Shire Council’s new Customer Service Charter at www.southgippsland.vic.gov.au by searching for Customer Service Charter 2021.