Do You Consider that the Introduction of the Citizen's Charter/Service First Initiatives Over the Past Decade Have Made Any Improvements to the Law of Public Administration ?

Essay by jamilUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, March 2004

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The Citizen's Charter, originally launched in 1991, was set up with the aim of improving the quality and responsiveness of public services. People have no choice about whether they use a public service, for example, they cannot choose their local authority, their fire service or their Tax office. Therefore, the Conservative government believed that something had to be done to put the public sector under some sort of pressure, to improve its services. The Citizen's Charter was re-launched and re-branded on the 30th of June 1998 by the Charter Unit of the Cabinet Office, under the name 'Service First - The New Citizen's Charter' and as a part of the Better Government initiative. The Service first initiative was designed to raise standards of public service through the use of the following nine principles: to set standards of service; be open and provide full information; consult and involve; encourage access and the promotion of choice; treat all fairly; put things right when they go wrong; use resources effectively; innovate and improve; and work with other providers.

Examples of charters include the introduction by the Inland Revenue of the 'Taxpayers' Charter', the 'Council Tenants' Charter', Charters for Further and Higher Education, the 'Patients' Charter' and the 'Travellers' Charter'.

The concept of active citizenship was a result of the Conservatives' government experience in the 1980's. The purpose of active citizenship was to make the public aware that every citizen had a duty to take an active part in solving society's problems. When it was first introduced the Citizen's Charter was widely smeared at. However, respected political, constitutional and legal commentators have taken the charter much more seriously. Some Labour party members argued that it was a short hand method to put more money in to the Conservative government's pockets. They also...