1.1 The word Sevottam is a combination of two Hindi words: Seva (Service) and Uttam (Excellent). It means “Service Excellence”, emphasizing the idea of “Service”. It symbolizes the change in mindset within the Government, from administration and control to service and enablement. The overarching objective of Sevottam is to continuously improve the quality of public service delivery in the country.
1.2 Sevottam framework was created by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Government of India in 2005, after study of the best international practices such as the Charter Mark of United Kingdom and the Malcolm model of United States of America. It is a framework for bringing continuous improvements in service delivery by government organizations.
1.3 The framework has a total of 3 modules with 3 criteria and 11 elements in each. The first module is the Citizen‟s Charter that specifies the standards for service delivery, the second is the Grievance Redress Mechanism to get redress if service is not provided as per standards, and the third is the Capability Building for building the capability and capacity of the organization to deliver its services as per standards included in its Charter.
2. Seven Steps Model
2.1 There are seven basic steps for implementation of Sevottam. These are as under:-
2.1.1 Step 1: Define Services
All organizational units should clearly identify the services they provide. Here the term service should have a broad connotation. Enforcement departments may think that enforcement is not a service, but this view is not correct. Even the task of enforcement of regulations has many elements of service delivery like issue of licenses, courteous behaviour etc. Normally any legitimate expectation by a citizen should be included in the term „service‟ Defining the services would help the staff in an organization in understanding the links between what they do and the mission of the organization. In addition, the unit should also identify its clients and if the number of clients is too large it should categorize them into groups. This would be the first step in developing an insight into citizens‟ needs.
2.1.2 Step 2: Set Standards
It has been well said that „what cannot be measured, never gets done’. Once the various services have been identified and defined, the next logical and perhaps the most important step is to set standards for each one of these services. A good starting point would be getting an input from the clients as to what their expectations are about each one of the identified services. Thereafter, based on their capability, the organization‟s overall goals and the citizens‟ expectations the unit should set standards to which they could commit. It is very important that these standards are realistic and achievable. Complaints redress mechanism should form an integral part of this exercise. These standards should then form an integral part of the Citizen‟s Charter.
2.1.3 Step 3: Develop Capacity
Merely defining the services and setting standards for them would not suffice unless each unit has the capability for achieving them. Moreover, since the standards are to be upgraded periodically, it is necessary that capacity building also becomes a continuous process. Capacity building would include conventional training but also imbibing the right values, developing a customer centric culture within the organization and raising the motivation and morale of the staff.
2.1.4 Step 4: Perform
Having defined the standards as well as developed organizational capacity, internal mechanisms have to be evolved to ensure that each individual and unit in the organization performs to achieve the standards. Having a sound performance management system would enable the organizations to guide individuals‟ performance towards organizational goals.
2.1.5 Step 5: Monitor
Well-articulated standards of performance would be meaningful only if they are adhered to. Each organization should develop a monitoring mechanism to ensure that the commitments made regarding the quality of service are kept. Since all commitments have to form a part of the Citizen‟s Charter, it would be desirable that an automatic mechanism is provided which signals any breach of committed standards. This would involve taking corrective measures continuously till the system stabilizes. Compliance to standards would be better if it is backed up by a system of rewards and punishments.
2.1.6 Step 6: Evaluate
It is necessary that there is an evaluation of the extent of customer satisfaction by an external agency. This evaluation could be through random survey, citizens‟ report card, obtaining feedback from citizens during periodic interactions or even an assessment by a professional body. Such an evaluation would bring out the degree to which the unit is citizen centric or otherwise. It would also highlight the areas wherein there have been improvements and those which require further improvements. This would become an input in the continuous review of the system.
2.1.7 Step 7: Continuous improvement
Improvement in the quality of services is a continuous process. With rising aspirations of the citizens new services would have to be introduced, based on the monitoring and evaluation, standards would have to be revised and even the internal capability and systems would require continuous up-gradation.
3. Module, Criteria and Elements of Sevottam (3 modules – 3 criteria -11 elements approach)
3.1 With 3 criteria and 11 elements in each Module, the Sevottam has a total of 9 criteria and 33 elements that comprehensively cover all aspects of service delivery to monitor gaps as well as improvement.
3.2 Three modules of Sevottam Model are explained below:-
3.2.1 The first component of the model requires effective charter implementation thereby opening up a channel for receiving citizens‟ inputs into the way in which organizations determine service delivery requirements. Citizens‟ Charters publicly declare the information on citizens‟ entitlements; making citizens better informed and hence empowering them to demand better services.
3.2.2. The second component of the model, „Public Grievance Redress’ requires a good grievance redress system operating in a manner that leaves the citizen more satisfied with how the organization responds to complaints/grievances, irrespective of the final decision.
3.2.3 The third component „Excellence in Service Delivery’, postulates that an organization can have an excellent performance in service delivery only if it is managing the key ingredients for good service delivery well, and building its own capacity to continuously improve delivery
4. Assessment of Service Delivery
4.1 The main part of the Sevottam model consists of criteria that ascertain how well the organization is tuned into the requirements of the three components that form the Sevottam model. The assessment framework takes into account two kinds of questions: to assess basic compliance, and to assess quality of processes through which compliance is achieved.
4.2 The basic Compliance is assessed on the following five criterions:-
(i) Published an approved Citizens‟ Charter
(ii) Circulated the Charter among service delivery units
(iii) Appointed a senior officer as Director of Public Grievances / Nodal officer for Citizens‟ Charter for the Department
(iv) Set up a task force for formulation, implementation and review of Citizens‟ Charter as per standards & for conducting self-assessment with involvement of representative citizen groups
(v) Published grievance lodging and redress procedure, and timelines for redress
4.3 The Process-Quality assessment:
It is done on the following basic criteria:-
4.3.1 Charter Effectiveness
An assessment will need to cover the entire range of processes right from charter design and formulation to implementation of charter commitments and periodic review of commitments based on stakeholder needs. Further, the organizational readiness will be assessed on the basis of a wider connotation of “Charter Effectiveness” consisting of three elements:
4.3.2 Public Grievance Redress
The objective of any Public Grievance Redress Mechanism is to resolve public grievances in an effective and speedy manner. In addition, complaints also provide vital feedback that indicates efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery. Based on such feedback, agencies can take remedial and preventive actions to reduce complaint-prone areas. In the Indian context, it is important to encourage an organizational approach that is focused on efficient handling of grievances received, as well as on taking suitable actions that eliminate chronic grievance prone areas. The assessment of Public Grievance Redress Mechanism needs to take into account the three aspects of grievance handling: how they are received, how they are resolved, and how they are prevented.
4.3.3 Service Delivery Capability
Organizational Performance Excellence the world over is assessed on two kinds of parameters: the results that the organization can show, and the manner in which the results are being achieved. This aspect essentially focuses on actions taken by the organization to enhance its delivery capability by strengthening the inputs that go into better delivery such as quality of strategic planning, human resources, information management, etc. In the Indian context, such assessments need to encourage better resource utilization for improved infrastructure, technology usage and human resource management, which are key ingredients for improved service delivery
4 .4 Assessment of Organisation/Department/Ministry
Any Organizations is assessed on two aspects:
Therefore the Sevottam model envisages assessment at two levels: parent and outlet.
4.4.1 Parent Level:
Primary responsibility for the macro aspect lies with the Department that formulates policy and issues guidelines to delivery outlets or agencies to function in accordance with the do’s and don’ts conveyed through those guidelines. In the context of our Department, it is CBEC and the Directorate General of Inspection.
4.4.2 Outlet Level:
Primary responsibility for the micro aspect lies with service delivery outlets or field units under the Department that are designated for direct interaction with citizens. In the context of our department, it is field Commissionerates/Customs houses/divisions/ranges etc.
4.5 Application Model of Sevottam
The model can be used in many ways depending on how far requirements go, how well prospective assessees are performing and how far they are ready to take on service delivery improvement initiatives. The extent to which an organization is meeting the criteria as above can be assessed through a set of 33 questions listed below.
|1||Citizens‟ Charter||1.1 Charter
|1.1.1 How do you determine and/or distinguish the citizen groups as also your stakeholders and what services do you offer to them?|
|1.1.2 How do you meet the service expectations of your citizen groups?|
|1.1.3 How do you ensure that services and their standards as described in the charter are in accordance with expectations of citizen groups identified above?|
|1.1.4 How do you ensure that preparation and/or review of the charter is participatory and inclusive of all your citizen groups?|
|1.1.5 How do you ensure that frontline staff and citizen groups are aware of the charter and can understand its contents easily for compliance?|
|1.2.1 How do you measure and track service delivery performance of different outlets against charter contents?|
|1.2.2 How do you communicate the gaps in service delivery to officer/team responsible for charter monitoring and to the outlets concerned?|
|1.2.3 How do you fill the observed and/or reported gaps?|
|1.3.1 How do you find out whether your charter is serving its purpose and take measures to enhance its effectiveness?|
|1.3.2 How do you incorporate legislative changes (e.g. introduction of Right to Information Act, etc.) and other relevant provisions/developments in your charter revision process?|
|1.3.3 How do you ensure that frontline staff and the citizens are aware of the basis for making changes as above?|
|2||Grievance Redress||2.1 Grievance
|2.1.1 How do you prepare and implement guidelines for spreading awareness on public grievance process and ensure that citizens get the information they need?|
|2.1.2 How do you prepare and implement guidelines for recording and classifying grievances?|
|2.1.3 How do you prepare and implement guidelines for multiple channels of grievance redress such as toll-free telephone lines, web site, etc.?|
|2.2.1 How do you determine time norms for acknowledgement, and redress of grievances/ complaints received?|
|2.2.2 How do you ensure that the time norms as above are adhered to?|
|2.2.3 How do you continuously improve the system and use forums like Jan Sunwai, LokAdalats and other single window disposal systems to expedite grievance redress?|
|2.3.1 How do you use grievance analysis while preparing annual action plans and strategy of the organization?|
|2.3.2 How do you find out grievance prone areas and communicate them to the officer/team responsible for service delivery improvement and to the Public Grievance Redress Officer?|
|2.3.3 How do you link grievance analysis to charter review and to other
guidelines so that complaint prone areas are improved upon?
|2.3.4 How do you measure and track the progress on improvements required to reduce complaint prone areas?|
|2.3.5 How do you ensure that frontline staff and the citizens are aware of improvements made in grievance redress mechanism?|
|3||Service Delivery||3.1 Citizen Focus||3.1.1 How do you determine citizen satisfaction levels and implement steps required for improving the same?
|3.1.2 How do you measure citizen satisfaction across the organization and for particular service delivery outlets?|
|3.1.3 How do you link citizen satisfaction results to charter review and to other processes affecting service delivery?|
|3.1.4 How do you prepare and implement guidelines that encourage your outlets for creating a citizen focused organization?|
|3.1.5 How do you find out and distinguish among outlets on the basis of service delivery, and implement steps required to improve the same?|
|3.2.1 How do you encourage and ensure courteous, punctual, and prompt service delivery by your front line staff?|
|3.2.2 How do you prepare and implement guidelines to encourage the willingness of the frontline staff to accept responsibilities for service delivery as per citizen expectations?|
|3.2.3 How do you encourage healthy competition among your outlets for improved service delivery?|
|3.3 Infrastructure Management||3.3.1 How do you determine and implement minimum standards of service for convenience of citizens such as putting signage, placing waiting benches, drinking water and other needs?|
|3.3.2 How do you determine the resources that are required taking into account service delivery needs, current budgets, current channels of service delivery to ensure resource availability/ utilization as per plans/requirements and standards fixed for service delivery?|
|3.3.3 How do you prepare and implement guidelines that encourage outlets to continuously improve service delivery?|
5. Development of Indian Standards IS 15700: 2005 by BIS
5.1 To implement Sevottam in the various departments of Government of India which are concerned with service delivery to the citizens or are having public interface, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has developed Standard i.e. IS 15700: 2005. The IS 15700:2005 has been basically meant for certifying organizations that fulfill the requirements of Quality Management System (QMS)Sevottam. It is broadly based on the ISO 9000 standard series and has additional citizen centric features such as of the Citizen‟s / Client‟s Charter, Grievance Redress Mechanism, and nomination of an Ombudsman etc.
Aims and objectives of IS 15700: 2005
5.2 The crux of IS 15700:2005 is to provide “Good Governance”. The governance may be defined as “process of decision making and the process by which decisions are implemented”. Good governance must be participatory, consensus oriented, transparent, responsive, accountable, equitable & inclusive, follow the rule of law and effective and efficient.
Key Element of IS 15700: 2005
5.3 The key elements of IS 15700:2005 are as under:-
5.4 IS 15700:2005 may be implemented by public service organizations to demonstrate their ability to consistently provide effective and efficient services which meets customer and applicable legal, statutory and regulatory requirements, to enhance customer satisfaction and for continual improvement in their services and service delivery processes. However, it does not apply for employment related disputes referred for resolution outside an organization. This standard provides emphasis on `citizen focus‟ and includes following three key elements:
6. Sevottam in the Context of CBEC
6.1 CBEC with its large number of field offices is one of the organization which has a large public interface and therefore, has been selected for implementation of Sevottam for achieving excellence in service delivery. The Customs and Central Excise department (as a service provider) interacts with the large number of clients such as Importers /exporters / manufacturers /service providers / international passengers / passengers getting goods by post, courier or unaccompanied baggage.
6.2 On behalf of CBEC, the Directorate General of Inspection (Customs and Central Excise) has been designated as the nodal agency/Directorate for implementation of Sevottam in the department.
Citizens’ Charter by CBEC
6.3 The Central Board of Excise and Customs, in the Ministry of Finance, is the apex body for administering the levy and collection of indirect taxes of the Union of India viz. Central Excise duty, Customs duty and Service Tax, and for facilitating cross border movement of goods & services. In order to improve the delivery of its services, the Board has formulated this Citizens‟ Charter.
6.4 Our Vision is to provide an efficient and transparent mechanism for collection of indirect taxes and enforcement of cross border controls with a view to encourage voluntary compliance.
6.5 Our Mission is to achieve excellence in the formulation and implementation of Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax laws and procedures aimed at:
6.6 The strategy for achieving our mission shall comprise the following:
6.7.1 CBEC has prescribed the following time norms to be followed in respect of services delivered by it‟s field formations:
– filing of manifest in the case of electronic processing of declarations
– filing of a paper claim in the case of manual processing
– In case of exports, within 24 hours of filling of declaration
– In case of imports, within 48 hours of filing of declaration.
We shall Endeavour to achieve minimum compliance level of 80% of the aforesaid time norms. Compliance levels shall be gradually enhanced through close monitoring, standardization of processes, use of IT enabled services.
6.7.2 The CBEC has made the following commitment to the public:-
We shall strive to:
– integrity and judiciousness
– impartiality and fairness
– courtesy and understanding
– objectivity and transparency
– uprightness and conscientiousness
– promptness and efficiency.
Additional Commitments by CBEC to the Public
6.7.3: We further commit that,-
Additional Commitments by CBEC to the Public
6.7.3: We further commit that,-
Complaints and Grievances
6.8 As a responsive and taxpayer-friendly department, we (means CBEC) shall have in place the following mechanism:
At the field level:
A Public Grievance Officer (PGO) has been designated in each Commissionerate / Customs House with whom all complaints and grievances can be taken up. The contact details of the Commissioneratewise Public Grievance Officer are available at www.cbec.gov.in.
At the Board level:
Commissioner (Publicity) has been nominated as the Public Grievance Officer for the Central Board of Excise and Customs,
Time lines for various Service Delivery Standards Prescribed by CBEC
7. Service Delivery Standards prescribed by CBEC in the area of Service Tax, Customs and Central Excise are as under:-
7.1 Central Excise: 8 Service Standards and Norms
7.2 Service Tax: 6 Service Standards & norms
7.3 Customs- 7 Service Standards and Norms
8. Service Quality Manual (SQM):
8.1 As per Indian Standard Quality Management System‟s requirement for Service Quality by Public Service Organizations, CBEC has developed Service Quality Manual. The Service Quality Manual is available on CBEC as well as DGICCE website and may be downloaded for study.
Key Features of SQM
8.2 Key features of the Service Quality Manual are:
– Establish Service Quality Policy
– Set Service Objectives
– Define Your Customer
– Define Each Service Standard
– Set Standard Operating Procedures for each service standard
– Set process controls for effectiveness in service delivery
– Balance standardization with local flexibility
– Build Quality Management System as per IS 15700 : 2005
9. Grievance Redressal System.
9.1 Sevottam requires a good grievance redressal system operating in a manner that leaves the citizens more satisfied with how the organization responds to complaints/grievances, irrespective of the final decision.
9.2 Service Delivery capability:
10. Step-Wise Guide – to Implement SQM
(1). Display the Citizen‟s Charter and Quality Policy prominently at all office premises for the benefit of customer.
(2). Put in place Infrastructure–like single window facility, facilitation centers and feedback cum suggestion forms- for better customer experience.
(3). Appoint one senior officer (preferably ADC/JC) to coordinate activities
(4). Train three to five officers.
(5). Sensitize all officers in the service deliverable sections on the Citizen‟s Charter and Service Quality Manual requirement.
(6). Appoint an officer at Group “A” level as Public Grievance Officer (PGO) to listen to public grievances.
(7). Issue Office orders to appoint officers as „Process Owners‟ in-charge of each Service.
(8). To provide resources to each process owner as per need to meet service norms.
(9). The documented procedures for services actually delivered are covered in SQM 22.214.171.124. to SQM 126.96.36.199.
(10). Registers/ records should be maintained for each deliverable service. Records keeping Format for each deliverable service is prescribed under the SQM -4.2 -Monthly abstracts shall be drawn to analyze conformance performance per month and checked by each process owner.
(11). Appoint two to three officers as internal auditors. The internal auditors shall be trained to audit the processes created (deliverable services) are working .trainers selected in step 4 above may be appointed as the internal auditors.
(12). The internal auditors shall make periodic audits of records maintained by each deliverable service process owner and highlight areas of non-conformance and work with other officers to timely close the issues.
(13). A Management Review Meeting is to be convened by the Nodal Officer twice in a year as per SQM for consideration of internal audit reports and inputs from the process owners.
(a) During initial stages, such meeting may be conducted more frequently to quickly stabilize the processes.
(14). Once processes are stabilized and sustained performance is observed, the field formation approaches Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for certification.
(15). Post certification SQM is to be implemented as per the certifying agency
(16). Any amendments to SQM shall be sent to field formation by Directorate General of Inspection for implementation. Records for each step are to be maintained systematically.
(17). In case of difficulty, Director General of Inspection office may be approached for guidance.
11. Flow Chart Process of Service Quality Management System
11.1 On submission of Application for grant of IS Certification under IS 15700:2005, the follow process of approval process has been explained in flow diagram as given below:-
12. Relevant Websites for further details:
(i) Website of the Department of Administrative Reform and Public Grievances i.e. www.darpg.gov.in for knowing about the concept of Sevottam and latest development in this field.
(ii) Website of Directorate General of Inspection of Customs and Central Excise i.e. www.dgicce.nic.in for knowing more about implementation of Sevottam in Central Board of Excise and Customs. The DGICCE is a nodal office entrusted with the responsibility for implementation of Sevottam in various field offices of CBEC.
(iii) Website of Bureau of Indian Standards i.e. www.bis.orgfor knowing about the Indian Standards including IS: 15700 and latest developments in the area of standard development in India.
(iv) Website of Central Board of Excise and Customs i.e. www.cbec.gov.in for knowing about the indirect tax laws, rules, latest notifications, circulars, instructions relating to Customs, central Excise and Service tax.
(v) Website of the National Academy of Customs, Central Excise and Narcotics, Kanpur i.e. www.nacenkanpur.gov.in for downloading free learning resources in the form of e-books on various topics of Customs, Central Excise and Narcotics.
13. Points of Critical Considerations for way forward
13.1 At present, for various service delivery standards, minimum compliance level of 80% of the various time norms has been mentioned. Further, it has been stated that compliance levels shall be gradually enhanced through close monitoring, standardization of processes, use of IT enable services. This commitment of 80% minimum compliance level has remain static since beginning. The point for consideration is as to whether this 80% minimum compliance level is enough and second, whether the compliance level has gone up since introduction of Sevottam in various field formations.
13.2 One of the major and key areas, where citizens are largely effected, is the area of dispute settlement. In other words, timely completion of investigation or timely adjudication of Show cause notice or a disposal of appeal is a key objective of ensuring compliance with tax laws. The point for consideration is as to why this key area has not been included in the Service delivery standards and as to whether this should be included in service delivery standards.
13.3 Though this concept of Sevottam was introduced in 2008 in CBEC, there is still considerable progress to achieve coverage of 100% of field formations. The point for consideration is as to how much time will still be needed to achieve 100% coverage of field formations under the Scheme. In other words, what should be the target date for achieving 100% coverage of field offices under the Scheme.
13.4 After implementation of Sevottam, it is expected that there will be significant improvement in actual delivery of service to the citizens. The point for consideration is as to whether this has really happened and how much we have achieved on this front. Is the progress satisfactory or what is required to be done to improve our delivery of services further.
14. Text of Relevant Guidelines for Sevottam (under IS 15700:2005)
14.1 Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the National Standards Body of India, has been helping the Indian industry for about six decades by formulation of National Standards, Operation of Product Certification Scheme, Management Systems Certification Schemes and Training.
14.2 Central Government and State Governments are one of the largest service providers. With a view that the public service organizations, including Government organizations, establish and implement a system approach to provide service quality to citizens, BIS has prepared an Indian standard, namely, `IS 15700:2005 Quality Management Systems – Requirements for Service Quality by Public Service Organizations’. This standard has been published on the initiative of the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Ministry of Personnel, Govt. of India. This standard is a generic standard specifically designed for public service organizations.
14.3 BIS is operating Service Quality Management Systems Certification Scheme (SQMSCS) for public service organizations according to IS 15700:2005 as one of its Schemes under Management Systems Certification.
14.4 These guidelines contain useful information on processing of an application, procedure for grant of licence, obligations and responsibilities of the public service organizations interested in obtaining and operating licences according to IS 15700:2005.
14.5 These guidelines are the extracted information from the applicable regulations. For complete details, reference may be made to Bureau of Indian Standards (Certification) Amendment Regulations, 2002.
14.6 IS 15700:2005 may be implemented by public service organizations to demonstrate their ability to consistently provide effective and efficient services which meets customer and applicable legal, statutory and regulatory requirements, to enhance customer satisfaction and for continual improvement in their services and service delivery processes. However, it does not apply for employment related disputes referred for resolution outside an organization. This standard provides emphasis on `citizen focus‟ and includes following three key elements:
Who are eligible
14.7 Public service organizations including Government Ministries and Departments, Regulatory Bodies, Public Utility Service Provider, etc, which are either directly providing service to society at large or those which through their policies, directives, regulations, etc., indirectly affect the services being provided by these service providers, are eligible for certification under this scheme. For example, Government Ministries/Departments, Public transport services, Public water supply services, Public distribution services, Insurance companies, Public health care services, Postal services, Telecommunication Services, Education services, Regulatory bodies, etc.
Organizations- individual and multi-site
14.8 Organizations generally operate individually from one site. There may be other organizations which operate through branches at different locations.
14.9 Individual organizations interested in obtaining license for service quality management system as per IS 15700:2005 should ensure that they are operating service quality management system in accordance with the requirements of the standard, IS 15700:2005 and shall be able to demonstrate the same.
14.20 For the purpose of this scheme, a multi-site organization is an organization having an identified central function (normally referred to as Central Office) at which certain activities are planned, controlled or managed and a network of local offices or branches (sites) at which such activities are fully or partially carried out. The services provided by all the sites have to be substantially of the same kind and have to be produced fundamentally according to the same methods and procedures. Such an organization need not be a unique legal entity, but all sites shall have a legal or contractual link with the central office of the organization and be subject to a common quality management system, which is laid down, established and subject to continuous surveillance by the central office. This means that the central office has rights to implement corrective actions when needed in any site. The Central Office being the controlling will be referred to as the organization at “Apex level” and units/sites as an organization at unit level. Examples of possible multi-site organizations include:
1. Organizations operating with franchises
2. Manufacturing organizations with a network of sales offices
3. Organizations with multiple branches
4. Indian Postal Department
5. State Jal Board
6. Public Distribution System
7. State Transport Corporation
14.21 The organization‟s quality management system shall be centrally administered under a centrally controlled plan and be subject to central management review. All the relevant sites (including the central administration function) shall be subject to the organization‟s internal audit programme and audited in accordance with that programme.
14.22 In case of very large organizations where an organization is providing services through its multiple sites at different levels, for example Central/State/District level, etc, then the Controlling Office at the first point (for example, District level) will be the first Central Office. This Central Office along with various units/sites under its control will be treated as one entity if it establishes a Management System in accordance with the standard i.e. IS 15700:2005 and monitors its implementation by all the service outlets (units/sites) under it. For example, post offices at District level are units/sites controlled by Central Office at District level, which in turn may be under the control of Head Office at State level, which in turn may be under the control of main Head Post Office at the Centre. In such cases, the Central Office at District level with units under its control will be treated as one entity (organizations with multiple service outlets/sites).
14.23 The organization shall demonstrate that the central office has established a quality management system in accordance with IS 15700:2005 and that the whole organization meets the requirements of the standard. It shall demonstrate its ability to collect and analyze data (including but not limited to the items listed below) from all sites including the central office and its authority and ability to initiate organizational changes if required:
– System documentation and system changes
– Management review
– Evaluation of corrective actions; and
– Internal audit planning and evaluation of the result.
14.24 Following organizations are considered as individual organizations and not multiple service outlet organizations:
a) Organizations that have multiple service outlets where dissimilar service processes are administered at different units/sites.
b) Organizations dealing with Public service delivery relating to the following critical scope sectors:
i) Food Products, beverages and tobacco (e.g. Food Chains)
ii) Pharmaceuticals (e.g. Chain of chemist stores)
iii) Aerospace (e.g. Airlines services)
iv) Information technology (e.g. Ministry of Information Technology)
v) Health (Chain of Hospitals/Nursing Homes)
vi) Services related to coke and refined petroleum products (e.g. Petrol filling stations, etc.)
vii) Electricity supply (e.g. State Electricity Boards)
viii) Construction (e.g. Construction sites by CPWD)
c) Units having more than 1000 employees
15. How to obtain Licence
15.1 Organizations (Individual or Multi-site) interested in obtaining licence for service quality management systems as per IS 15700:2005 should ensure that they are operating service quality management system in accordance with the requirements of the standard, IS 15700:2005. For this purpose, the organization shall have conducted minimum one Internal Audit and one Management Review Meeting. The application should be submitted in the prescribed proforma in triplicate (Form-IV & Form XIV) at the concerned Regional Office of BIS along with prescribed application fee, as applicable. The schedule of fee is given at Annexure I. The application fee is non- refundable.
15.2 The application (Form IV) is to be signed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the organization or any other person authorized to sign any declaration on behalf of the organization.
15.3 Each application shall be accompanied by a supplementary questionnaire (Form- XIV) duly filled in along with the documented service quality management system (such as, service quality manual, citizens‟ charter, any other document required by the standard, etc) prepared by the organization. The questionnaire (Form XIV) is also to be signed by the Chief Executive Officer of the organization or any other person authorized to sign any declaration on behalf of the organization. The name and designation of the person signing the application must be recorded legibly in a space set apart for the purpose in the questionnaire.
NOTE: BIS has also prepared Service Quality Manual, which is hosted on BIS website ‘www.bis.org.in‘.
15.4 Organizations that have multiple service outlets shall declare the units to be covered in the certification scope along with the organization structure. Initially, option will be given to the organization to restrict the number of attached offices (units) for certification with provision to include the remaining outlets (units) gradually.
If necessary, BIS may seek and shall provide to the applicant further information about the scheme.
Processing of Application
15.5 BIS reserves the right to reject an application which is incomplete and does not fulfill one or more of following requirements. .
i) Application fee not accompanying the application;
ii) Application form is incomplete;
iii) Annexures to the application are incomplete
iv) Service Quality Manual/Citizen Charter/any other document needed by the organization for effective planning, operation and control of its service and service delivery processes not submitted
However, ample opportunity and information will be provided to applicant to fulfill the requirements.
15.6 The reason for rejection of the application will be communicated to the applicant by BIS.
15.7 BIS will acknowledge the receipt of the application and application fee. Every application will be given a serial number to be known as „Application Number‟. In all future correspondence, reference must be made to the „Application Number‟.
15.8 All multi-site organizations may not be eligible for sampling. Site sampling may be restricted where BIS does not get sufficient confidence in the effective implementation of the service quality management system as per IS 15700. Therefore, on receipt of application, it will be examined for the complexity and scale of service delivery process, size of sites eligible for multi-site assessment, variations in local implementation of the service quality management system, etc.
15.9 After the application has been accepted, BIS official(s) will carry out a visit to the premises of the applicant/Central Office* to examine the documented Service Quality Management System (Service Quality Manual), Citizens‟ Charter, etc.) for verifying the conformance to the standard and to acquaint himself/themselves of the size, nature of job being performed by the organization and organization’s readiness for the initial audit. Any significant omissions or deviations from the prescribed requirements will be intimated by BIS during the visit and will have to be corrected by the applicant for further processing of their application.
* For multi-site organizations, normally, this Documents Review/Preliminary Visit will be carried out at Central Office (at first/second/third ………………. level) of the organization before initial audit. Apart from Central Office, other sites (units) may also be selected for preliminary visit based on complexity of activities, risk factors, etc. The complexities and scale of activities carried out at different sites will also be examined (by document review/preliminary visit) and any difference between the sites will be identified and intimated.
15.10 The visit will also be utilized to assess the number of man days for the certification audit for grant of license, its duration and type of expertise required. The number of man days for audit will vary according to the size and nature of operations etc. of the applicant organization.
15.11 Based on the findings of preliminary visit, information relating `selection of service outlets‟, number of audit man days‟, etc., will be intimated to the auditee.
Assessment (Initial) Audit
For individual organization
15.12 An Audit Team from BIS will visit the organization for assessment of the organization’s compliance to the requirements of IS 15700:2005 and service delivery processes, procedures and activities as enumerated in the documented service quality management systems.
For Organizations with Multiple Service Outlets
15.13 For organizations having multiple service outlets, initial evaluation will be done of the Central Office and attached office(s) on sampling basis as follows:
– Central Office
– Attached offices: (Number) 1/2 with minimum one in each level (state/district etc)
– Attached offices/units at lower levels, if any: (Number) 1/2 with minimum one at each level
16. Responsibilities of Applicant during the Audit
16.1 The organization is expected to provide following assistance to the audit team during audits:
a) Arrangements of stay, local guidance and travel arrangements, etc.
b) The CEO and the nodal officer (apex level/unit level) of the organization must be present during the opening and closing meetings. As far as possible, all responsible personnel of the organization should be present in these meetings.
c) In the interest of the organization, all efforts should be made that time of the audit team is not wasted on account of non- availability of relevant personnel, documents, records, shut down of department(s) being audited, etc.
d) The organization will arrange a place/room where members of the audit team can meet to exchange their notes and findings and discuss during the day and at the end of the day.
16.2 Before grant of license to the organization is considered, corrective/preventive actions taken by the organization on the non-conformities, if any, observed during the audit will have to be verified by BIS. For multiple service outlets in case a non-conformity is observed, either at the Central Office, or at a single outlet of the organization, the corrective action(s)will have to be taken on all applicable outlets. This may be verified during the audit or through a follow up audit. After verification of necessary corrective action(s) taken by the organization the assessment team may recommend grant of license.
16.3 At the time of grant of license to the applicant, it shall give the following undertaking:
“We shall make no claim direct or implied that the license granted to us relates to service(s) or delivery processes other than those set out in the said license and the schedule thereof.”
17. Grant of Licence
17.1 When the competent authority of BIS is satisfied with the recommendations of the assessment team for grant of license, the same shall be granted. If any site (Central Office or attached office) has a pending non-conformity, certification may be denied to the whole organization. The scope of certification will not be revised in order to overcome the non-conformity observed during initial audit at a given site.
17.3 The license shall be granted for a period of three years. In case of multi-site organization, one single certification will be issued with the name and address of the Central Office of the organization having multiple service outlets. A list of all the sites to which the licence relates will be issued either on the license itself or in an annexure or as otherwise referred to the in the license certificate along with the scope of the license. The scope or other reference on the license certificate will make it clear that the certified activities are performed by the network of sites in the list. If the scope of certification of the sites is only issued as part of the general scope of the organization, its applicability to all the sites will be clearly stated in the license certificate and any annexure.
18. Operation of Licence
18.1 Grant of license will be followed by normally three surveillance audits in three years by the auditor(s) nominated by BIS to verify the effective implementation and maintenance of the service quality management system established by the organization; the third surveillance visit may be replaced by renewal audit. An annual plan will be drawn for surveillance audits of Central Office, and attached offices on sampling basis. Efforts will be made to cover different sites for surveillance audits within the validity period of the license. Renewal will be based on reassessment (similar to initial) audit after three years.
18.2 During the operation of certification, when a licensee fails to observe the conditions of the Service Quality Management Systems Certification Scheme or where there have been significant departure from certification conditions, license of the organization may be suspended and may call for special visits for which organization will be liable to pay special visit charges as set out in schedule of fees.
18.3 In case of organizations with multiple service outlets, the license certificate will be withdrawn in its entirety if the Central Office or any of the sites does not/do not fulfills the necessary criteria for maintenance of the license. The organization shall inform about the closure of any of the site included in the license and failure to provide such information will be considered as the misuse of the license. Similarly, if the organization had added a new site, it shall not claim certification of this site, which otherwise will be considered as the misuse of license.
18.4 Additional sites may be added to an existing license based on recommendations of the audit team leader during surveillance / renewal / special audits when request has been made to BIS in advance.
19. Renewal, expiry, suspension, and Cancellation of Licence
19.1 Any Licence granted automatically expires at the end of the period for which it is granted. A renewal notice will be issued to the Licensee by the concerned office of BIS about four months before the expiry of the operative period. The Licensee is required to submit the renewal application atleast three months in advance before the expiry of the License which will be followed by a complete audit of service quality management system of the organization similar to initial audit.
19.2 If some discrepancies are found during the audit, the Licensee will be asked to take actions (corrective and preventive actions). For multiple service outlets in case a nonconformity is observed, either at the Central Office, or at any outlet of the organization, the corrective/preventive actions will have to be taken on all applicable outlets. This may be verified during the audit or through a follow up audit, full or partial, as the case may be. After verification of necessary action or a corrective and preventive action plan as proposed by the organization to remove discrepancies, the Service Quality Management Systems License will be renewed for a period of three years.
19.3 For suspension and cancellation of License, please see Obligations of Licensee.
Obligations of Licensee
A License holder on grant of certification for service quality management system will:
a) At all times comply with the requirements of the License as set out therein and comply with BIS (Certification) Amendment Regulations, 2002 or any amendments thereto.
b) Only claim that he is holding a License in respect of the capability which is the subject of the License and which relates to service delivery processes or systems in accordance with its requirements.
c) Not use the License in any manner to which the BIS may object and shall not make any statement concerning the License which, in the opinion of the BIS, may be misleading.
d) Submit to the BIS for approval the form in which he proposes to use the License or proposes to make references to the License.
e) Upon expiry of its period of validity, suspension or termination of the License, however determined, discontinue its use forthwith and withdraw all promotional and advertising matter which contains any reference thereto.
f) Not make any change in the Service Quality Management System which forms the basis for the grant or renewal of the License and which prevents its compliance with the Scheme without prior approval of the BIS.
g) The license certificate will be withdrawn in its entirety if the Central Office or any of the sites does not/do not fulfills the necessary criteria for maintaining of the license. The certified organization shall inform about the closure of any the site included in the license and failure to provide such information will be considered as the misuse of the license.
h) Submit to the BIS any amendments to the approved documented system.
i) Document all changes made to the Service Quality Management System and make records of such changes available to Bureau’s designated officers on request. A change in key personnel in relation to management of the systems and technological functions or senior management shall be notified to the BIS by the License holder.
i) Permit access to a team appointed by the BIS for purposes of assessment, audit or The License holder shall give full details of all actions taken in response to field problems arising from allegations of defects in products, processes or systems covered in the license and allow BIS officers access to all relevant records and documents for the purpose of verifying such details.
j) Be required to produce evidence of continuing operations for the products, processes or systems covered by the License. License holder shall notify to BIS in writing of discontinuance in such operations exceeding three months. Discontinuance of a License in excess of six months or more may lead to cancellation of the License. In such cases, a fresh application shall be submitted to the Bureau and assessment visit will be necessary prior to grant of a new License.
k) Pay all financial dues to the Bureau, in the manner specified by it, even for the period of discontinuance or suspension of License.
l) Operate and maintain procedures for handling and recording of complaints and shall report any complaints against the service quality management system operated and/or License, to BIS. Cooperate and assist BIS on the investigation and resolution of such
m) Operate within the provisions of the BIS Act 1986; Rules, 1987; BIS (Certification) Amendment Regulations, 2002 and Certification Scheme Procedure for grant of licence.
20. Privileges of Licensee
20.1 The privileges enjoyed by BIS License holder include:
a) Original Service Quality Management Systems License which can be demonstrated by the organization to anyone concerned. If need be, it can be photocopied & displayed at various locations.
b) Use of Service Quality Management Systems Certification Mark (Sevottam) on letterheads in advertisements, brochures, complimentaries and for other promotional purposes.
c) Each license shall be listed in the register of certified organizations maintained by
21.1 Under the Provisions of BIS Act 1986, any decision taken in respect of granting, withholding, renewal, suspension or cancellation of certification under the Bureau of Indian Standards Service Quality Management Systems Certification Scheme (BIS SQMSCS) can be appealed against. For the Procedure and Guidelines for making an appeal, contact Head (Management Systems Certification) at BIS Headquarters, 9 Bahadur Shah ZafarMarg, New Delhi – 110 002.
22. Schedule of Fees for Service Quality Management Systems Certification.
22.1 Application fee to be paid along with application shall be Rs.15,000/- + (Taxes).
22.2 The application fee includes the adequacy audit (Document Review) of documented Service Quality Management System and preliminary visit fee. However, expenses for travel and stay of auditor(s) for preliminary visit will be charged at cost. Consideration will be given to allocate auditors from nearby offices of BIS to minimize travel/boarding cost.
Assessment/ Re-assessment Fee
22.2 Rs.7,000/- (+ Taxes) per auditor(s)/expert(s) per day towards assessment (initial audit/renewal audit) fee plus expenses for travel and stay of auditors/experts which will be charged at cost. Assessment/re-assessment fee and estimated expenses to be paid in advance before the audit. Consideration will be given to allocate auditors from nearby offices of BIS to minimize travel/boarding cost.
For Individual Organizations
22.3 Licence fee for a period of three years shall be of Rs. 60,000/- + Taxes, to be paid at the time of grant/renewal of licence but before licence is issued to the licensee.
For Organizations with Multiple Service Outlets
22.4 Licence fee of Rs. 60,000/- (+Taxes) for a period of three years, to be paid at the time of grant/renewal of licence but before licence is issued to the licensee. For each additional site to be covered under the scope, additional fee to be paid for each site shall be as follows:
|No. of Sites with similar activities to be covered under certification||Fee for three years (Rs.)|
|Upto10||@12,000 per site|
|11 and above||1,20,000 + @ Rs.8,000 for each additional site above 10|
22.5 Normally 3 surveillance audits (one audit per year) will be undertaken during three years of validity period. Third surveillance audit may be replaced by renewal audit. Charges for surveillance audits, towards mandays spent, shall be Rs.7,000 per manday plus expenses for travel and stay of auditors which will be charged at cost (surveillance audit fee and estimated travel and stay expenses to be paid in advance before the audit).
Special Visit Fees
22.6 Any other audit (follow-up audit) or special visit will be charged at Rs 7,000/- per auditor per day towards fee plus expenses for travel and stay of auditors which will be charged at cost. Above charges will be leviable for any other visit/audit covering additional requirement which cannot be assessed during routine visits and/or visit(s) required to verify actions taken on non-conformities (NCs) raised (unsatisfactory performance), complaints investigation, etc. The special visit may also cover audits/visits for extension of scope, change of structure, merger, change of address, etc., as requested by auditee. BIS will decide about the conduct of special visits or any other audit (follow-up audit). Special visit fees or any other audit (follow-up audit) fee and estimated expenses for travel and stay shall be paid by the applicant/licensee in advance.
Review of Fees
22.7 Fees are subject to review periodically.
Note: Service tax as applicable on all fees to be paid by applicants/licensees along with fee in advance
BIS: Bureau of Indian Standards
CBEC: Central Board of Excise and Customs
CPGRAM: Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring
[Note: It is a standardized web based solution and an integrated application to register and to redress the grievances received online. The aggrieved person can lodge their grievances online on web-based platform i.e. www.pgportal.gov.in]
DARPG: Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances [in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions]
DGICCE: Directorate General of Inspection of Customs and Central Excise
DPG: Directorate of Public Grievances [in the Cabinet Secretariat]
IS: Indian Standards
ISO: International Organization of Standardization.
NACEN: National Academy of Customs, Central Excise and Narcotics
PGO: Public Grievances Officer
QMS: Quality Management System
SQM: Service Quality Manual
1. In this E-book, attempts have been made to explain about SEVOTTAM. It is expected that it will help departmental officers in their day to day work.
2. Though all efforts have been made to make this document error free, but it is possible that some errors might have crept into the document. If you notice any errors, the same may be brought to the notice to the NACEN, RTI, Kanpur on the Email addresses: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org (Email address of ADG, RTI, NACEN, Kanpur). This may not be a perfect E-book. If you have any suggestion to improve this book, you are requested to forward the same to us.
3. If any officer is interested in preparing E-book on any topic relating to Customs, Central Excise or Service Tax, he may forward the E-book prepared by him to the Email addresses mentioned above. After necessary vetting, we will include the same in our E-book library for benefit of all Departmental officers.
Source-National Academy of Customs Excise and Narcotics Regional Training Institute, Kanpur (India)