Best Practice for the Month of May 2015
Excellent Public Service in S&T
The Department of Science and Technology Regional Office XI (DOST XI) is the first organization in Davao Region to be accorded the highest Philippine Quality Award (PQA). The regional office is also the third PQA Level 1 awardee in the DOST system along with the Metal Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) and DOST Region IX. In 2014, DOST XI is again awarded as one of the Best Regional Office in the entire DOST system.
DOST XI envisions a dynamic and proactive organization committed to excellence in public service through Science and Technology (S&T). Its mission is to build knowledge and partnership in S&T in support to sustainable socio-economic development in Mindanao. To realize its vision and mission, DOST XI has developed core competencies in Technology Transfer and S&T Services. Technology transfer includes project management, technology trainings and consultancy services. While S&T services includes testing and calibration services, S&T scholarship, S&T promotion, and Research and Development management.
The key to DOST XI’s success is its relentless pursuit of continuous improvement and total quality. DOST XI is best in leveraging resources through strategic networking; maintaining accreditation and certification to local and international standards on quality; high and strategic investment in human resource development; developing and maintaining effective customer engagement; implementing internal and external feedback mechanisms; and providing high quality services.
Best Practices and Approaches
The first of the best practices is the Long-time maintenance of its Quality Management Systems (QMS) with ISO 9001:2008 certification since 2008 and ISO/IEC 17025 in 2005. The senior leaders set the direction and led the entire workforce to pursue compliance with the standards to ensure the continuous delivery of quality services and products to its customers. Customer satisfaction is always a priority.
The Regional Director of DOST XI, Dr. Anthony C. Sales, CESO III along with the other Senior Leaders create an environment for organizational performance improvement, realizing its mission and strategic objectives, innovation, competitive performance leadership and organizational agility through various mechanisms. To continually identify areas and opportunities for improvement, continuous improvement workshops, management reviews, ExeCom meetings, project meetings, and quality management are done.
An annual continuous improvement workshop is done at the beginning of the year for the entire workforce to jointly review the existing processes and work systems of the office. This is also done to identify the areas and opportunities for improvement- thus encouraging everyone to implement innovations. This is the agency’s concept of “think better to become better and do better.” Through this kind of activity, everyone, from the rank-in-file to the supervisory level, is encouraged to express his or her evaluation of the existing processes, and share to the rest of the group the suggestions that will potentially improve the existing processes. The output of the workshop becomes basis for the necessary improvements such as the need to devise tools for monitoring purposes or to improve existing processes for certain transactions.
Since 2010, DOST had institutionalized the conduct of the Quarterly Management Review, and considered it as part of its best practices. The conduct of the Quarterly Management Review enables the office to monitor its quarterly accomplishments vis-à-vis targets based on the reports of all the divisions and provincial offices. Through this kind of evaluation, all the officers and staff become updated and vigilant in terms of achieving their respective targets and deliverables. This also becomes the venue for the re-echo of trainings attended by the officers and staff to ensure that acquired knowledge of one employee will be shared to the rest of the team.
To motivate the workforce to execute process innovation and accomplish the targets and strategic objectives a committee on Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE) was created. The committee evaluates and recognizes the exemplary performance of deserving employees.
DOST XI also listens to its customers to ensure efficient and effective delivery of services in Davao Region. DOST XI uses customer satisfaction feedback mechanisms, which includes focus group discussions, and key informant interviews. Outputs are then used to design its services and processes. The voice of the customers is considered in the operations planning and control.
The evaluation made by the by the Center for Quality and Competitiveness of the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) in 2013 provided a chance for DOST XI to further see opportunities for improvement. To keep up with the socio-economic trends, DOST XI maintains various certifications and accreditations both for its management system and the laboratory services. DOST XI is ISO 9001:2008 certified and its Regional Standards and Testing Laboratory is ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited. Apart from the ISO/IEC 17025, the DOST XI -RSTL (laboratory) also pursued other certifications and accreditation from regulatory bodies like the DENR-EMB, DOH-FDA, DOH-NHRL, and BFAR.
These additional certifications and accreditations include the DOH-FDA for food testing, DOH-NHRL for water testing, BFAR for tests on fish and fishery products, and DENR-EMB for being a hazard waste generator. The DOST XI RSTL is the only laboratory to have completed these 4 certifications, apart from the ISO/IEC 17025. To sustain the need to provide high quality service, the workforce are sent to local and international trainings. Workforce competence of laboratory analysts in particular, is highly evident with the 100% passing rate for the inter-office proficiency testing of all the laboratory analysts, marking a good position as compared to the other Laboratories.
Being part of the civil service system, DOST XI is compliant to Civil Service Commission regulations and policies in human resource management, resulting to the CSC Level II Accreditation under the Program to Institutionalize Meritocracy and Excellence in Human Resource Management (PRIME-HRM).
The recognitions received by DOST XI are proof that excellent public service is possible in a national government organization.
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