Cumberland Times-News

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May 2, 2014

Franchot expresses need for good customer service in all areas of government

ACCIDENT — Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot believes in customer service so much that he would fire an employee who doesn’t comply with his philosophy.

“You work for the people and you need to deliver the three R’s: respect first of all ... No. 2, responsive — none of this will get back to you in two weeks, the response has to come the next day. The third thing is results; You can’t let people go without getting them some resolution for their issues,” the comptroller told members of The Greater Cumberland Committee during their Thursday meeting at the Career Technology Training Center for Garrett College.

Franchot noted that a majority of the employees embrace the concept of good customer service and that he rarely fires anyone. He also stressed the importance of customer service within the private sector.



“It wouldn’t cost us a penny to simply inject into the state’s bureaucracy the concept that the private sector needs, above all, customer service,” said Franchot. “If we had that mindset that we now have in the Comptroller’s Office in all the agencies in state government, this state would very quickly have a new perception from the business community. This idea that the state is not friendly to business would quickly be put into perspective.”

The state has a lot to offer the private sector, said Franchot. Maryland was recently ranked 40th out of all the states in regard to the ease in which business is done, according to Frank Shap, assistant director of Garrett County Economic Development. Shap asked Franchot if he was governor what his top three priorities would be to improve the climate of doing business in Maryland.

“No. 1, a moratorium on tax and fee increase to compensate with this idea of rising costs. I think that would be a very game changertype statement from what the business community is used to,” said Franchot. “Secondly, since I’m in charge of doing books for the state, frankly, we need a lot more transparency and understanding about what our fiscal situation is. We have huge pension liabilities and pension obligations that are not explained to the citizen as far as what we know.”

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