Govt asks Zilla Parishads to adopt ISO 9001: 2000

The decision is part of the several quality improvement measures being taken by the Maharashta Government, writes Zeeshan Shaikh.

india Updated: Nov 10, 2006 05:30 IST

In a move aimed at ushering corporate culture and administrative transparency into local government bodies like Zilla Parishads the Maharashtra government has asked the Zilla Parishads, rural governance bodies, to adopt ISO 9001: 2000 standards.

The decision is part of the several quality improvement measures being taken by the Maharashta Government to improve administrative services at the rural government bodies. With the adoption of ISO 9001: 2000 standards, citizens can expect more transparency in functioning of these local bodies.

"The government is looking at increasing the efficiency of dservices of these organizations. The idea behind this move is to bring in professional standards into Zilla Parishads including punctuality and improved administrative standards. The system would also force them to maintain their standards without which there is possibility of them losing out on the certification," Rural Development and Water Conservation secretary K S Vatsa said.

As part of the exercise to adopt the ISO 9001:2000 standard members of Zilla Parishads, head of departments, block development officers would be trained on quality improvement measure.

It has also appointed a consultant to prepare these bodies for obtaining the certification.

"In order to improve systems at Zilla Parishads, we want to adopt ISO 9001:2000 standard and also provide training on quality improvement to members of Zilla Parishads, head of departments, block development officers," Sanjay Chavan officer on special duty, rural development department said.

ISO 9000 refers to a set of quality management standards to facilitate services by providing a single set of standards that people would recognize and respect.

The government has also appointed a private firm Boon Management Consultants to help train the employees of 25 of the states Zilla Parishads and facilitate them in acquiring the required certification. The government will be paying Rs five crore to the consultant firm for its services.

Meanwhile eight of the remaining bodies including ZP's of Aurangabad, Dhulia and Ahmednagar have decided to attain the certification on their own. The consultant who is likely to resume work from November 15 will be taking workshops and training close to 250 employees of each Zilla Parishad on quality improvement.

As part of its guidance for documentation and implementation of quality system the consultant will also train a minimum of two officers at each ZP as management representative for carrying out internal quality audits necessary for the ISO certification. The consultant will also carry out internal audits before the certification audit and review noncompliance of Internal Quality Audit, and assist in taking corrective action and areas of improvement in Management review meeting.

"These bodies are the face of the government for the people in rural areas. The aim of launching such an exercise is to help understand public grievances better, assess situations in a scientific was and provides a quick and efficient response. We are seeking to corporatize these bodies and also seeking to increase their responsiveness," Sanjay Chavan officer on special duty for Maharashtra government’s rural development and water conservation department said.

First Published: Nov 10, 2006 05:30 IST