Mystery Visits to Public Institutions: Piloting Service Delivery Index

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Visits to public administration institutions in eight selected municipalities in Montenegro show satisfactory level of quality of informing services about procedures for obtaining documents, although specific omissions were registered, and they were common for all visits in all examined municipalities. The visited institutions in municipality of Nikšić generally rendered services of lower quality compared to other visited institutions.

Overall professionalism and kindness of employees are generally evaluated very positively in the majority of observed municipalities. Accessibility of services is evaluated less positively –primarily due to the lack of appropriate aid for persons with disabilities where they are needed – many institutions lack adequate access for persons with disabilities, and often when there is a ramp or elevator on the ground floor, the space is not adapted for people with disabilities – e.g. they are not able to access other floors. Besides that, the quality of officer’s response to specific requests was also evaluated less positively – the employees rarely asked all necessary questions in order to recognise the needs of the clients, and, in compliance with this, to tell them which documents they needed or cost of the issued documents. Therefore, although in majority of cases the examined employees were evaluated as very kind to users of their services, physical access to institutions and quality of obtained information relevant for users’ requests were evaluated less positively.

The lowest quality of work in public administration was recorded in testing the scenario of inquiring about the issuance of building permit, mainly because the employees rarely gave information directly, but they gave the visitors a paper with listed documents needed for this purpose. On the other hand, during visits to institutions in charge of registration of agricultural producers generally high quality of services was registered.

In small number of visits the employees did not greet the client at the end of conversation, they were not included in conversation and they did not provide accurate and clear information. It is worth mentioning that in almost all visits the employees greeted the client at the beginning of interaction and they behaved politely throughout the conversation. Besides that, waiting for their turn in lines in front of the windows was in satisfactory limits – up to 15 minutes.

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