In a step that's the first of its kind, the UAE publicly named government offices providing the best services and shamed those offering the worst performances to the public.
The news comes weeks after Dubai's Ruler and Vice President of the UAE Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced plans to "name under-performing centers - and celebrate those offering high-quality service to customers."
The ruler had pledged to rank service centers in July, almost a month after a mystery shopper told him about lengthy queues at a branch of Emirates Post. The sweeping reviews that recently took place in the country are said to be a direct result of Sheikh Mohammed's outrage over the matter.
The reviews revealed that Sharjah's Al Khan Emirates Post is the worst government service center in the UAE while the best is the country's Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship in Fujairah.
Sheikh Mohammed announced the top five and worst five in a series of tweets posted late on Saturday. He explained that the results were the outcome of an extensive study that examined 600 government service providers across the UAE. The research involved daily visits to centers over a period of two months.
Employees at the best centers were rewarded with a two-month salary bonus and several employees were singled out for praise. On the other hand, senior managers at failing offices were dismissed and will "be replaced by managers who know how to deal with customers," as per the Dubai Ruler.
Newly appointed managers will be given one month to improve working conditions at the centers they're assigned to. Sheikh Mohammed said he will pay visits to check on their progress within this period of time.
Similar rankings to happen annually
In statements on the study's findings, Sheikh Mohammed said it was the duty of government authorities to meet the "changing" demands of UAE residents.
"Providing high quality services is a flexible and changing goal. People's expectations today are different than they were five or 10 years ago. A successful government adapts and meets changing expectations," he explained.
"We have the courage to evaluate ourselves and our teams with ultimate transparency because covering up our mistakes and shortcomings costs far more," he added.
The leader warned that those who will not keep up with the "rapidly-changing" scenes in the country will be fired from working in government offices. He also stressed that similar assessments of services will be carried out on an annual basis. Future ranking studies will feature evaluations for ministers, under-secretaries, and general directors. Ministries and government authorities will also be subject to these reviews and their results will be made public.
The top and worst five at a glance
The top five centers in the UAE as per the study:
- Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (Fujairah)
- Ministry of Education (Ajman)
- Traffic Services and Licensing/Ministry of Interior (Ajman)
- Wasit Police Center/Ministry of Interior (Sharjah)
- Sheikh Zayed Housing Program (Ras Al Khaimah)
The five worst centers:
- Emirates Post Group, Al Khan branch (Sharjah)
- Al Muhaisnah Centre for Preventative Medicine/Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (Dubai)
- General Pension and Social Security Authority Centre (Sharjah)
- Baniyas Centre for Social Affairs/Ministry of Community Development (Abu Dhabi)
- Tawteen Centre/Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization