Eight State Governments Lead the Way in Strengthening Accountability towards Speedy Delivery of Public Services

Nov 23, 2012

(left to right) Lise Grande UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, India; Shri Naveen Patnaik, Honorable Minister of Odisha; JK Mohapatra, Principal Secretary Finance, Government of Odisha; Michael Haney, Acting Director, The World Bank [Photo: UNDP India]

Bhubaneswar - “The Right to Public Service Act will improve transparency, fix accountability and enhance equity in public service delivery,” said Shri Naveen Patnaik, Honourable Chief Minister of Odisha. He was speaking at a multi-state consultation on the Right to Public Services Act hosted by the Odisha Government in Bhubaneswar today.

Expressing satisfaction that the rights-based Act establishes time-bound service delivery of public services, the Minister pointed out the importance of strengthening relationships between all stakeholders involved in service delivery including the private sector, communities, civil society and international organizations.

While India has witnessed significant economic growth, access to public services such as education and health, is still a challenge. Right to Public Service Acts contribute to better service delivery and poverty reduction as they increase the accountability of the state towards its citizens. Recognized by the United Nations as a significant step forward, the 2012 United Nations Public Service Award was conferred on Madhya Pradesh, the first state to pass the Act.

Congratulating the Odisha State Assembly and the state government for its commitment to improving service delivery, Lise Grande, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative noted, “This Act has the potential to transform accountability in public service delivery. Making the Act effective and efficient, particularly for marginalized groups, will require a multi-pronged approach that includes greater awareness building, strengthening delivery capacity and innovations to simplify processes and rules.”

The timely consultation was held as the Odisha government prepares to implement the Act which comes into effect in January 2012. The consultation organized by the state government, UNDP and the World Bank focused on sharing experiences on process re-engineering towards citizen-centric public service delivery. Participants deliberated on the practical challenges in implementing the Right to Public Service legislations effectively, and factors that contributed to their successful implementation in other states. Fifteen Indian states including Odisha have passed similar Acts. The consultation was supported by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and UNDP as part of their ongoing project ‘Pathways for an Inclusive Indian Administration’. In 2011, the Ministry and UNDP initiated a pilot on human resource management, and are working with apex training institutions on capacity development for the civil services.

Contact information

Ambika Prasad: Ambika.prasad@undp.org; +91-9437020580

Arndt Husar: Arndt.husar@undp.org; +91-9953496255