Following is the speech by the Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Joseph W P Wong, at the Prize Presentation Ceremony of the Outstanding Customer Service Award today (February 24):
Dear Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my honour to attend the Prize Presentation Ceremony today to share the joy of the winning departments and their members who have been serving the public with their heart and soul.
This year's Outstanding Customer Service Award is department-based, focussing on the manifestation of the esprit de corps. Twenty-three departments entered the keen competition for the award. They had to go through stringent assessments conducted in the form of site visits and presentations to an adjudicating panel comprising Legislative Councillors, customer-service professionals and representatives from both the management and staff. Voting by the public also formed part of the adjudication process, in which more than 4 500 households were invited to give their scores as customers. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my deep appreciation to all the panel members and members of the public for their contribution to the uphill task of choosing the winners.
In recent years, Hong Kong's economy has suffered severe setback. To tide over the difficult times with the community, the Government has introduced a series of measures to tighten the control over public spending and implemented the Enhanced Productivity Programme. These measures have brought tremendous pressure as well as challenges to the civil service, but despite the financial hardship, colleagues in various departments persevere in their pursuit of forever higher standards in their services. Their efforts are commendable indeed.
We held an exhibition on Outstanding Customer Service here last week with 48 departments participated to showcase their services to the public. We have also made use of the opportunity to conduct an opinion poll. About 72 per cent of the respondents were satisfied with the customer services provided by departments, similar to the findings of a comprehensive public opinion poll commissioned by the Civil Service Bureau in October last year. Ninety-five per cent of the respondents considered that exhibitions of such kind would enhance their understanding of the public service. I believe that their appreciation and support provides a strong driver for the civil service to strive for customer service excellence.
Lastly, I would like to thank all the departments which have taken part in the competition and congratulate those which have won. I also hope that while keeping up the momentum for further improvement in customer services, all of you would join the Staff Suggestions Scheme actively by coming up with good ideas to help achieve savings in government expenditure.
Thank you very much.
End/Monday, February 24, 2003