EFQM Excellence Project
The European Union (EU) supports projects in Turkey’s EU membership process with the support of pre-accession financial assistance. The main aim here is to create a single financial framework by preparing candidate and potential candidate countries for the programming, implementation and management of post-accession structural and cohesion funds. All these aids are combined under the name of Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), which entered into force in 2007 and has a total budget of approximately 11.5 billion Euros. We met with Head of Revenue Administration, Mr. Şinasi Candan, the senior manager of our project, Technical Assistance for the Introduction to Quality Management in Revenue Administration Deputy, which is under the first of the five components in total and completed its first year approximately two months ago, is a European Union project carried out by the Revenue Administration under the leadership and technical support of WYG Turkey, where the Central Finance and Contracts Unit is the contracting authority.
- First of all, we will introduce him (Şinasi CANDAN)
He was born in 1968 in Suşehri. He graduated from Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences in 1989. He was appointed as Accounting Specialist on 29.07.1993, and Candan currently carries out the duty of Deputy Head of Revenue Administration principally and the Head of Ankara Tax Office by proxy.
“GEMI Project” (Excellent Revenue Administration) is a project created to adopt the total quality management approach in the Revenue Administration. This project, co-financed by the EU and Turkey, started to be implemented on January 10, 2011. Within the scope of the project, which will last for 21 months, actions for the integration of the European Quality Management Foundation Excellence Model (EFQM), which is the international quality management concept, are continuing at full speed. The Revenue Administration, which always aims to develop in search of providing more effective and efficient service, takes firm steps forward in its quality journey with the desire to reach the culture and understanding of business excellence with all its employees.
- Where did the need to implement the EFQM excellence model as a project in the Revenue Administration arise?
It is a fact that change and keeping pace with this change are inevitable in the globalizing world, and based on this fact, we believe that total quality management practices are a very important factor that gives priority to differentiation. As the Revenue Administration, we decided to apply the EFQM excellence model, taking into account the trends in today’s world, as a result of the search for better and higher quality service to our taxpayers, and we implemented this as the “GEMI project”.
- Is the EFQM model, which we mostly see in private sector companies, an applicable model for the Revenue Administration as well?
The EFQM Model has no predetermined patterns. It simply provides a general framework for management. Therefore, the model is not actually dressing a ready-made dress; the quality of the fabric of the dress can be considered as revealing the basic criteria such as how to take the measurements. The implementation of the model is to sew the dress suitable for you according to these criteria. For this reason, we think that the model can be applied everywhere, without any discrimination, such as the private sector and the public sector.
- What kind of activities have you carried out so far for the implementation of the model within the scope of the Ship Project?
Since its activities support each other, in this sense, it is a project whose activities are intertwined and progressing very intensely. As this was an initial project, the staff and we had to undergo training first. Therefore, at the very beginning of the project we received training and, on the other hand, the basic deployment training of the personnel started. At the same time, we trained our trainers from among our own staff to give these trainings to all of Turkey. At the moment, our propagation trainings given by both our trainers and our experts continue all over Turkey.
Apart from this, we have created our own work teams that will carry out the self-assessment and benchmarking activities that will continue in order to ensure sustainability after the project is over, with our process teams that will work while establishing the process management system.
Our first evaluation within the scope of the project was made by experts in our pilot areas, and according to the results, areas open to improvement were identified and our improvement teams completed their work in these pilot areas.
In November 2011, we paid a study visit to the Danish Tax and Customs Administration (SKAT) for a benchmarking activity to learn about their experience with the model and the methods they applied.
In addition to these, we are about to finish the infrastructure works of the Employee Suggestion Development System and Taxpayer Feedback Systems. We will soon be testing the systems with a pilot. Thus, we will ensure participation for continuous improvement by receiving suggestions and feedback from both our employees and taxpayers. We think that we will make a significant difference by including our taxpayers in the operation of our processes, thanks to the “taxpayer feedback system”.
In addition to all these, we plan to conduct employee and taxpayer surveys in our pilot units in April in order to measure the development of the project. Thus, we plan to measure the satisfaction and perceptions of both employees and taxpayers, and then repeat these measurements at regular intervals to monitor developments. The results of these surveys will be a reliable source of information for all kinds of projects we will implement in the future.
- The GEMI project is a very important project for the whole of Turkey in terms of increasing the efficiency of a tax-collecting institution as well as for the Revenue Administration, and setting an example for such a large institution in the public sector by switching to quality management. Finally, do you have anything to say about it ?
Yes, although the Revenue Administration was established in 2005, it actually has a long history and a deep-rooted corporate culture. On the other hand, we live in a rapidly changing and developing global world. If we look at the reforms and regulations that have taken place in the public sector in Turkey in recent years, we see that Turkey is actually trying to adopt a new public understanding in parallel with this developing and changing world. In this sense, our project will make a great contribution to this.
As you have stated, we are aware that this is a very important step for both the Revenue Administration and Turkey. Change does not happen immediately, but this is a start-up project and I would like to thank all of our teams who worked with their own hard work in this project, as well as their dedication, for their contribution to our future. Together with them, we will always try to do better after this project. Thank you, too, for giving me the opportunity to express these.