Quality is not a myth in government nor institutionalizing a Quality Government (Q-Government) a far-fetched dream. Quality Governments (Q-Governments) now exist in advanced and developing countries. To better understand what a Q-Government is, a good understanding of institutionalization can give us a proper prospective.
Institutionalization is an on-going process in which a set of activities, structures, and values becomes an integral and sustainable part of an organization, society or nation. Quality Government (Q-government) defines institutionalization in the context of total quality management (TQM) as:
Quality Government(Q-Government) will be institutionalized when total quality management (TQM) practices, concepts and methodologies are formally and philosophically incorporated into the structure and functioning of all government mandate and public service structures, consistently implemented, and supported by a culture of quality, as reflected in organizational values, best business practices and policies that advocate efficient delivery of quality public service and ultimate protection of the citizenry.
A government having the capacity to carry out technical quality activities such as defining quality standards, monitoring quality, conducting quality improvements, among others, does not ensure that total quality management is institutionalized. A government that enables the initiation, growth, and continuity of quality management activities must also incorporate supportive policies, quality leadership and structures that support performance excellence of a Q-government (based on the criteria for performance excellence outlined in the Malcolm Baldrige or Philippine Quality Awards quality system). There must also be evidence of full top management support of adequate resource allocation that emphasize the importance of quality and encourage government workers and managers to practice total quality management principles as part of their daily work. In short, every government agency and office must carry out this quality requirement as part and parcel of institutionalizing a Q-Government.
Our current situation calls for a new paradigm, a new vision subsuming our old assumptions and values. We need to redefine not only total quality management, but also management science, per se. We have overlooked that part of the need of passing through a watershed of history is the need to find fresh purposes. For the purposes that brought us thus far, by themselves alone, can no longer suffice as guiding theme for our future.