Efficiency tag for GMDA- Civic body gets ISO 9001 certificate
The Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA), which has often drawn criticism from the city’s residents, has quietly walked away with the coveted ISO 9001 certificate — the gold standard in administrative efficiency.
In fact, GMDA has become the first municipal authority in eastern India to get ISO 9001:2008 standard certification. The certificate was issued on October 31.
“It is basically an effort to streamline the operating procedures of the office and tone up officials of the authority to ensure efficient and prompt citizen-centric services. It took almost one-and-a-half years to upgrade office infrastructure and bridge the various gaps and carry out a quality management drive to enable the officials of the authority to handle their various tasks in a better and smarter way,” GMDA’s chief executive officer M. Angamuthu told The Telegraph.
Angamuthu, an IAS officer, is also credited with getting the deputy commissioner’s offices of Karbi Anglong and Nagaon ISO 9001 certified.
“To the best of my knowledge, GMDA is the sole municipal authority in eastern India to get ISO certification,” Rupam Baruah general manager (east) of Bureau Veritas, which awards ISO certificates, told The Telegraph.
The eastern regional office of Bureau Veritas looks after 13 states, including those in the Northeast.
The certificate is valid till October 31, 2016, and was provided for enforcement and execution of master plan, formulation and execution of schemes for planned development of Guwahati metropolitan area as well as regulation and control of development through regulatory measures.
Baruah said the process was started almost six months ago. The GMDA engaged the National Productivity Council as the process consultant to implement the requirements of ISO 9001:2008. A number of workshops were conducted for the implementation team.
“As a certifying body, we verify the adequacy of documented quality management systems and procedures in reference to the requirements of ISO 9001. Then we conduct a certification audit — which generally focuses on implementing status with reference to the documented system. Then, legal requirements are verified in what we call a compliance audit. After every stage, we issue audit reports and the client has to provide a corrective action report,” Baruah said.
The certificate is valid for a period of three years and every year there will be a surveillance audit to verify the sustenance of management systems and serious non-compliance to requirements may lead to suspension of the certificate.
A GMDA official said the authority now has departmental operating procedures in place to deliver quality services to citizens and meet the mandatory requirements stipulated by the Assam Right to Public Services Act.
“A computerised monitoring unit has been set up to monitor the process and disposal of various public proposals, seeking of NOCs for buildings and land transfers. Very soon, a fully computerised system for scrutiny and processing of various building construction proposals will also be put in place,” the official said.
Thanks to the improvements, the GMDA office, which looked neglected before, has undergone a transformation with state-of-the-art work stations, conference hall, visitors lounge, Wi-Fi facility and a fully digitised records room.