A win-win for justice

The justice ministry is serious about actively reaching out to the public, in order to provide feedback on various issues, including complaints.

24 July 2019 | Ministries

The justice ministry is urging all state institutions to reach out and engage with the public by all available means, including social media platforms, in an effort to boost effective communication with citizens and improve service delivery.

The ministry was recently praised for its efforts to respond to public criticism and queries via social media platforms, including a recent SMS that appeared in a daily newspaper, in which a group of young mothers shared their frustration about the Grootfontein maintenance court and its officials.

The justice ministry promptly responded to the complaint on Facebook, noting that is ready to “rectify this so that the same does not happen again in future”.

The response was posted online, and included a detailed explanation of how child support complaints are dealt with at a maintenance court, and the relevant contact details. Moreover, the justice ministry underlined that it is “aware of a serious shortage of staff handling maintenance issues”.

The ministry reminded the public that the recruitment process of 10 maintenance investigators to be deployed at various magistrate courts countrywide, including Grootfontein, is underway, to help reinforce the existing staff “so that we can offer the best possible service to our clients in maintenance matters”.

Justice ministry spokesperson Simon Idipo told Namibian Sun they are serious about actively reaching out to the public, in order to provide feedback on various issues related to the ministry's services, including complaints.

“We value transparency at the ministry of justice and we believe such interaction is another step towards such practice,” he said.

Idipo underlined it is crucial for government institutions to receive and respond to public feedback.

“Apart from just providing information to our clients, such feedback plays a major role in helping us to identify our shortcomings and to improve on those.”

He said the ministry urges “all institution to prioritise energising their communication channels, because as a government we are doing or offering quite a lot of beneficial services, but without good communication, those targeted to benefit will not know of these services”.

Idipo said a lack of knowledge on state and government services deprives citizens from achieving a good quality of life.

“The public voted government into power and for that we owe them information and all the services government provides.”

Idipo said effective communication between the public and government institutions is a win-win for all, including improved trust, improved service delivery, an informed nation and transparency.

He said the ministry's decision to integrate various communication platforms, including new media tools, into its public relations strategy, has “proven to be really helping us convey our message to a larger audience than in the past”.

The integration of new media was made possible, he said, by the recent implementation of the government social media use guidelines, and through the “positive support” of justice ministry supervisors, who have helped to improve the ministry's communication efforts.

He said, to date, the ministry has received positive feedback on these new strategies and this motivates it to continue bolstering efforts to reach out to the public via online platforms.





JANA-MARI SMITH

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