New public management and service delivery in Uganda: A case study of the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control
This study was conducted to find out whether NPM had improved service delivery at the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC), Ministry of Internal Affairs. The study specifically sought to establish whether civil servants were aware of NPM and the client charter; to establish the level of satisfaction by clients of DCIC, to find out whether budgeting at DCIC is output oriented and also the challenges of implementing NPM. The study employed a survey design to collect data from the target population. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used. These were in-depth interviews, documentary review and self-administered questionnaires. The study used random and purposive sampling to select the respondents who participated in the study. In this study, it was established that the clients of DCIC sought services such as issuance and renewal of passports, verification of citizenship, passport control, issuance of temporary movement permits and visas to foreign nationals. It was also established that the main sought service at the Directorate was acquisition of passports. Half of the participants agreed that they had received attention from the officers as far as service delivery was concerned. They however lamented that the civil servants do not keep their promises about receiving the passports and there was no defined criteria for accessing it. The clients suggested that in order for the DCIC to improve on its service delivery, the officers have to do the following: reduce congestion and long queues, keep their promises, obtain bio data from the Electoral Commission and should always provide feedback to the clients. The study also found out that half of the civil servants were not aware of NPM and yet they are the ones who are supposed to implement it, those who were aware revealed that it was practiced in the DCIC with emphasis put in customer care, goal-oriented services and timely delivery of passports and visas. In addition to that, the majority of the civil servants were also not aware of the client charter yet this is the guiding document for ensuring efficiency and effectiveness The Commissioners, however, reported that NPM is practiced in DCIC but there are several challenges that are faced in its implementation. These include but are not limited to: poor remuneration of staff and limited human resources. They proposed recruitment of new staff and increasing funding of the Directorate as remedies for the above challenges. In a nutshell, the above findings indicated that New Public Management has not yet fully been implemented in the DCIC and bureaucratic tendencies are still prevalent in the Directorate. The study recommends the adoption of e-government systems where the application process is done online, sensitization of clients and training of civil servants in customer care skills. Standards of performance should also be set and a specific code of conduct and ethics for officers in DCIC should be designed, ensure constant power supply and also improve on remuneration of personnel.