Aylesbury, UK -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/19/2014 -- The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recently published two new documents which present guidelines to the public sector on how to actualize ISO 9001: 2008 – Quality Management Systems. These documents are ISO 18091 – for local governments, and ISO/TS 17582 – for electoral bodies responsible for organizing and administrating electoral processes.
ISO 9001 is the world’s most established and leading quality framework. It is currently used by more than 1.5 million organizations in 191 countries so far, thus gaining more attention from the public sector.
Carlos Gadsden, International Secretary for ISO/IWA 4, stated that ISO 18091 comprises “an excellent tool for local governments to reassure local citizens that their needs and expectations are fully understood and met on a consistent basis and in a timely manner.” He further discussed that a local government with a quality management system can aim its activities to satisfy the needs and expectations of the local community.
He also expounded that since local governments are the most important suppliers in the world, activities such as transportation, education, water supply, waste collection, sewage and drainage, public lighting, and civil protection, need to be governed by a reliable standard.
ISO 18091 is an essential tool for local governments to organize themselves in a comprehensive way, with focus on continual development where it matters.
Gadsden affirmed that it will produce the benefits for the local government. Here are the benefits he mentioned:
- Empower citizens and governments together
- Produce not only effectiveness but also legitimacy
- Provide a common language and understanding between politicians and technicians, and enable comparability among countries and other local governments
- Serve the local population by making politically viable those things that are technically indispensable
- Create a useful tool for the United Nations millennium goals and objectives for a sustainable world and smart cities
- Produce reliability – essential for society
On the other hand, ISO/TS 17582 establishes a framework for a quality management system which aids electoral bodies offer more dependable and transparent electoral services. Tyler Finn, a specialist in the Electoral Observation Section in the Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation, mentioned that the technical specification employs the time-tested ISO 9001 standard to a specifically electoral context.
Finn emphasized, “such quality principles apply to eight processes that are fundamental to any election: voter registration, registration of political organizations and candidates, electoral logistics, vote casting, vote counting and declaration of results, electoral education, oversight of campaign financing, and resolution of electoral disputes.”
ISO/TS 17582 upholds “high standards of organization, efficiency, and management throughout the electoral cycle,” according to Finn. By certifying to ISO/TS 17582, an electoral body publicly announces its commitment to transparent electoral processes, thereby building public trust in electoral services.
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