EPFO improving services eyeing ISO 9001 certification

Swankier offices of the half a century old Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) along with a sharp improvement in its services may be a reality. The country's largest retirement fund manager is on a drive to implement ISO 9001 standards at all its branches.

Field offices have been asked to settle all claims within 10 days and claims arising out of death of members within three days. Further, pensions given under the related Employees' Pension Scheme (EPS) must be disbursed by the last working day of a month and credited into the member's account by 3rd of every month.

These are a part of the performance parameters that the EPFO has outlined for all field offices to implement by end of the fiscal.

The EPFO has also directed field offices to update atleast 75 per cent of its total members' PF account details and fully computerise (using CORE banking solutions) all pensioners' bank accounts by March 2013.

"Implementation of ISO 9001 in all EPF field offices is a mandatory success indicator under the Reforms Framework Document (2012-13) under the mandatory objective 'Administrative Reforms'," the EPFO has written in a missive to all branches, adding that a pilot project in Jabalpur was successful and is certified as ISO 9001-compliant.

ISO 9001 is a globally recognised standard for quality management of businesses and has become mandatory for government departments. Some like Airports Authority of India have got ISO certifications even earlier.

In addition, the EPFO has also listed physical facilities that each of the field offices must have. These include air conditioned offices, building use certificates, 'clean and hygienic washrooms' for employees as well as visitors and also a functional canteen.

It has already made provisions upto Rs 10 lakh for its branch offices to upgrade.

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