President Ranil Wickremesinghe has issued instructions to streamline the process of responding to letters, emails and phone calls addressed to government institutions.
The president has focussed his attention on streamlining and expediting the process of responding to letters, emails and phone calls by the public instead of them having to waste their time, effort and money by having to come to these institutions personally to attend to their requirements.
Thereby, a special letter signed by the Secretary of the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government, including provisions in replying to letters, e-mails and telephone calls addressed to government institutions, has been sent to all ministry secretaries, provincial chief secretaries and Heads of departments.
Priority should be given to general letters from the public to government institutions, and in case final replies cannot be sent immediately, an interim reply stating that the letter has been received should be sent within one week and a final reply should be sent within four weeks.
In addition, for all official letters, the direct telephone number, fax number and e-mail address of the staff officer in charge of the subject should be mentioned below the signature of the relevant letter when sending reply letters.
Emails sent to public email addresses of relevant offices should be checked daily and a specific officer should be assigned for the purpose. Emails to staff officers’ email addresses should also be checked daily.
Efforts should be made to respond to emails the same day and if the relevant officer cannot answer them on the same day, they should send a reply stating that the letter was received and the time required to respond to it. In the same way, arrangements should be made to provide answers to the inquiry within a reasonable time/ before the notified date.
All phone calls to the office should be answered and if there are organizations/departments that receive many phone calls, a specific officer should be assigned to respond to those calls.
The relevant officer appointed to respond to these calls should make a note of the caller’s name, the purpose of the call and contact details on which a response could be forwarded.
In instances where an immediate response cannot be given, the relevant staff officers/officers in charge should take steps to respond to the caller’s query within a reasonable time frame.