Citizen's Charter

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The Citizen's Charter was a British political initiative launched by the then Prime Minister, John Major, on 22 July 1991, less than a year into his premiership.[1]


It aimed to improve public services in the UK by:

  • Making administration accountable and citizen friendly.
  • Ensuring transparency and the right to information.
  • Taking measures to cleanse and motivate civil service.
  • Adopting a stakeholder approach.
  • Saving time of both executant and the clientele.
  • Easily under stability and quantified works.

All services would have to publish clear targets for levels of service. Dozens did so, from hospitals to prison services, local government offices to fire services.

One part of the initiative was the granting of "Charter Marks" to those public bodies meeting defined standards.


The initiative was widely criticized for claiming to improve public services while reducing money available for them, and for introducing private methods of management in the public sector. It was also claimed that the result was a "box-ticking mentality" concentrating on the measurable, rather than on the individual users of services.



  1. ^ For details about John Major, see the official Number 10 Downing Street Archived October 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. web site.