KAMPALA – Frontline officers such as communication officers, office supervisors, clerks, and process servers have been called upon to serve Judiciary clients with patience, honesty, kindness, humility and decency.
The call was made on Friday by the Chief Registrar, Sarah Langa Siu, while presiding over the opening of a one-day customer care training for more than 80 frontline staff held at the Judicial Training Institute (JTI) at Nakawa, Kampala.
The Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Judiciary, Mr Pius Bigirimana, also cautioned the officers at the training against vices such as indecent dressing, facilitating the disappearance of court records and asking for bribes. “We shall be conducting more of these seminars very soon for the benefit of other staff members of the Judiciary,” said Mr Bigirimana.
HW Langa said the training was ideal for staff to reflect and understand how they are serving. She reminded the staff that often they are the first point of contact for court users and, as such, are the face of the Judiciary.
“When people encounter you, what do the people see as the face of the Judiciary? Is it a clean face? Professional, decent, kind and a timekeeper?”
Using the analogy of the human face that needs to be cleaned of dirt and clutter, she called upon the staff to clean their professional faces before serving others to improve the image of the Judiciary, adding that the staff need to serve with “patience, honesty, kindness, decency, availability, and timeliness”.
“We have a role to play in executing Judiciary’s mission, vision and core values. A clean face is what we desire, so clean up your face,” she said, adding, “Let your speech always be filled with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”
To improve service delivery, the CR called for a “Guest the Guest” experience. This she explained to mean, ‘Greet with a smile, understand what the customer wants, explain how to serve customers, serve with passion and thank the customer.
HW Langa informed the participants that the Judiciary administration would not relent until the terms of service of all staff improve. “Once the Judiciary service kicks off, many people will want to join…don’t put yourself in a situation where you fail to cross into the Promised Land.”
Organisers of the activity were appreciated facilitating service delivery. “This is an essential training, and I believe it is long overdue because such help us to reflect on our performance to check if we are doing well and if not, we adjust accordingly,” HW Langa.
The training was organized by the Public Relations and Communication Unit hand-in-hand with the Human Resource Department to equip Judiciary’s frontline staff with the skills to handle court users with dignity and professionalism.
Ms Apophia N. Tumwine, the Ag Commissioner Human Resource, also emphasized the need for being servants to the public they serve. To achieve this, she said this called for the participants to always give free service, with a high level of dedication, humour, integrity, and timely manner.
Ms Tumwine further advised on setting targets to improve output. Adding that this should be in tandem with the standing orders.
“Customer service goes hand in hand with discipline. Please read the Public Service Standing Orders to acquaint yourselves with the regulations and authorities of service,” she said.
She also shared that the Judiciary management had resolved that all support staff will benefit from a medical insurance scheme starting next Financial Year.
A team from Malaika Path led by Ms Rebekah Kabugo Mugisha took the participants through service excellence, proactive service and time management.
Mr Ronnie Mbabaali, the Program Officer at the Civil Services College Jinja, took participants through customer service excellence in government service.
Explaining the training rationale, the Judiciary’s Principal Communications Officer, Mr Solomon Muyita, said that all Courts would have functional customer care desks manned by staff trained in customer care soon.
Adding that participants in the Justice, Law and Order Sector-supported training programme were drawn from High Court Divisions and Circuits, plus key administration units in Kampala. He said the Judiciary would conduct similar training for another cadre of staff in a phased manner.
The Deputy Registrar in Charge of Training, Moses Gabriel Angualia, was on hand to ensure that the training was successful.
The activity climaxed with the awarding of certificates to all the participants.