GIS - 15 May, 2014: The Family Outreach Centre (FOC) at the Beau Bassin prison, which has been renovated and refurbished to improve service delivery, was launched this morning by the Minister of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms, Mr Satyadeo Moutia, in the presence of the Commissioner of Prisons, Mr Jean Bruneau. On the same occasion, the Mauritius Prison Service received the ISO 9001:2008 certificate for its New Wing.
In his address, Mr Moutia said that the Mauritius Prisons department has made sustained efforts to transform its services, change the mindset of the people serving the department and remove the negative perception that citizens and customers may have on the system. The ISO certification of the New Wing is another milestone is the history of the prison service, he said. In the wake of reforms carried out coupled with the participation and commitment of its human resources, the New Wing was qualified for ISO certification.
The Minister recalled that a smarter Civil service should be characterised by innovation and provide rapid responses to the expectations and aspirations of the Mauritian population. He pointed out that the Ministry is undertaking reform initiatives geared towards enabling Ministries/Departments to deliver timely and quality services within the parameter of good governance. A customer focused approach is therefore being promoted through the ‘Improvement of Counter/Customer Services Scheme’, he said.
As regards the FOC, Mr Moutia pointed out that the Prisons Service is adopting a social model in reforms and rehabilitation in the correctional services. “Sustained ties with kin and relatives outside are important and the latter need to be accommodated during their visits at the institution. The new family outreach centre will certainly promote a sound interaction between visitors, prisons staff and the prisoners”, he said.
For his part, the Commissioner of Prisons said that one of the priorities of the Prisons Service is focused on the detainees and the members of their family. The department has taken advantage of funds made available by the Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms to renovate the waiting structure and make visitors feel more comfortable before they meet their dear ones. A special corner is dedicated to NGOs which offer special attention and support to families of detainees.
Speaking about the ISO certification, Mr Bruneau said that this achievement represents a landmark in the history of correctional services in this part of the world and that prison officers should work hard to maintain that privilege.
Family Outreach Centre
The FOC which was founded in 2004 receives around 400 visitors per week. Based on the relative importance of the service provided and the number of visitors, the Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms funded to the tune of around Rs 515 000 the upgrading of the Centre so as to improve service delivery. The funding comprised construction materials, electrical and plumbing installations and other renovation works.
Over the past 7 years, around 110 projects have been implemented across the Civil service for the modernisation of customer /counter services. These measures have contributed to improve waiting areas, a better channeling of customers and streamlined processes, which resulted in faster service delivery for critical public services delivered to a large number of members of the public daily.
The Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms supports Ministries and Departments embarking on the MS ISO 9001:2008 certification programme by providing facilitators, assessors and staff training.
For the implementation of ISO standards at the New Wing Prison the Ministry, in collaboration with the Mauritius Standards Bureau, organised in June 2012 a four-day training programme on ‘Preparing for MS ISO 9001:2008 Assessment’ and ‘Internal Auditing Techniques in MS ISO 9001:2008 and 10 Officers of the Prisons department were trained. The project kick started in January 2013 and was completed in December 2013.
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