On This Day 25 Years Ago – Citizen’s Charter promises better public services

On 22nd July 1991 Prime Minister John Major launched a Citizen’s Charter to improve public services calling it “the central theme for public life in the 1990s”.

He was attempting to re-define the unpopular Conservatism which he had inherited from Margaret Thatcher when she stepped down in November 1990. The Prime Minister said: “I don’t pretend that I am offering a quick fix. It is a programme for a decade. The charter programme will find better ways of converting money into better services. I want the people of the country to have services in which they can be confident, and in which public servants can take pride.”

John Major went on to win the general election with the Conservative Party in April 1992.His attempt to establish measurable and accountable public services was one of his most important legacies.

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Mr Major’s Commons Statement on the Citizen’s Charter

 

The Charter Mark was introduced as in 1991 as an award for public sector organisations who demonstrated they had achieved the national standard for excellence in customer service. It was replaced in 2008 by the Customer Service Excellence award.

 

In July 1999 the Labour Government replaced the Citizen’s Charter with the Service First programme to improve public services but this changed nothing. Politicians just have to make good ideas by previous governments look like their own by giving it a new label! 😉

 

By 2002 there were 200 Citizen’s Charters covering all major areas of public service. This List of Government Websites will lead you to the Citizen’s Charter for each department which has one.

 

On 22nd July 2008 the Select Committee on Public Administration published it’s Twelfth Report looking back on the original charter 17 years earlier and making sure that the charter was updated to reflect the better ways of delivering service in the electronic age!

 

On 22nd July 1991 Prime Minister John Major launched a Citizen's Charter to improve public services calling it "the central theme for public life in the 1990s".
On 22nd July 1991 Prime Minister John Major launched a Citizen’s Charter to improve public services calling it “the central theme for public life in the 1990s”.

 

 

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