Concept of citizen charters originated in UK. The primary purpose being improving service delivery and professional management with the domain of public goods and services. The charter is the declaration of commitment to superiority in service to customers of the department.
A typical citizens charter has the following components:
- Clarification of purpose
- Clarity of goods and services provided
- Proper definition of responsibilities and defined sphere of obligation
- Grievance redressal mechanism
- Punishment and compensation for non-compliance
The citizen charter declares the standards for various services offered. It includes expectations of the Organisation from the Citizens for fulfilling its commitment. The Citizen’s Charter does not by itself create new legal rights, but it surely helps in enforcing existing rights.
In the Indian context these charters have been delayed in implementation, almost initiated in 1997 at the chief minister’s conference, they could not see the light of the day till 2004. There is a need to make these charters legal and statutory compliant.