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Participation of entrepreneurs, artisans and traders in setting and collecting taxes, as an example of opening up the public sector for civil society

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

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As we all know, paying taxes is considered cumbersome. Because this office is an institution that collects money, which is generally an unpleasant thing for the customer, the purpose of its action was to:

  • develop a model of public management based on cooperation and openness directed at different customer groups: craftsmen, traders and large traders;
  • involve the office’s customers in creating a friendly and optimal organisation of tax collection;
  • actively involve citizens in providing feedback on the quality of the service;
  • raise public confidence in the institutions and officials providing services.

The determination to carry out these objectives results from the internal mission and understanding of the basic tasks of the public sector. The office has to be open to the needs and expectations of customers, making citizens active partners in the development of the office and enhancing their confidence. They worked on the assumption that customers have the right to know the institution acting on their behalf, as well as the right to be involved and have a say in decision-making. Therefore, customers’ satisfaction is crucial. That is why they focused on a partnership with the customers involving them in the decision-making process. There is now a permanent pattern of meetings, which are held regularly:

  • In January, a working group session is held consisting of employees representing the tax office in Sierpc organisations and representatives of companies from manufacturing, construction, service or business. During the sessions, not only are the values of tax rate cards negotiated, but also changes in tax laws. It also offers a space to address any concerns about how the law is applied. The participants (entrepreneurs) provide feedback on taxpayers’ satisfaction with the office’s public service employees.
  • Several times a year, depending on the needs at the time, informationbased/ training meetings are held for clients in conjunction with other partners (local governments, organisations, associations, local media). The meetings provide information on new rules and their interpretation.
  • Occasional meetings are held over Christmas, to celebrate the accolades and awards received by the office, as well as building effective partnerships, exchanging opinions and discussing future plans and intentions. In addition, there is a customer satisfaction survey system using ISO procedures, CAF and SERVQUAL methods, to identify weak areas of the office for diagnosis and improvement.

As a result, the office’s image and public perception, as well as the quality of customer service, have improved considerably. This has been confirmed by numerous newspaper articles, results of surveys among customers and comments and opinions about this office. A high level assessment of their work as civil servants and the office’s positive social value have also been confirmed at macroeconomic level.

Award info
Award category: opening up the public sector
Award type: submission
Award year: 2011
Project type
Sector: Public administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reform
Type of activity:
Keywords: Transparency, consultation, partnership, cooperation, openness, participation, knowledge management, communication, development, quality
Short English description: As a result, the office’s image and public perception, as well as the quality of customer service, have improved considerably.
Further information
Organisation: The Tax Office in Sierpc
Other applicants:
Homepage: http://www.is.waw.pl/ussierpc
Level of government: local level
Size of organisation: 50-100
Number of people involved: 1-5
Country: Poland
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:
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Participation of entrepreneurs, artisans and traders in setting and collecting taxes, as an example of opening up the public sector for civil society (52.8448795, 19.656465)
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