| Vol. 17, February 2008
Councilor Discusses Quality with Minister of Economy
In October 2007, Sunil Thawani, the
ASQ Country Councilor for the United Arab Emirates
(UAE), had the opportunity to meet with His Excellency
Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, the Honorable Minister
of Economy, and present his book, Business Excellence
Awards—Strategies for Winning, to him.
UAE, all ministries and government departments are
improving their performance and services to the public
by adopting the Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award (SKEA)
framework. The SKEA model is based on the European
Foundation of Quality Management model. To oversee
successful implementation of the federal government
improvement program, the Ministry of Development for
Government Sector has been established, with H. E.
Mansoori as the former minister. Thawani felt his
book would be of interest to H. E. Mansoori, so he
requested a meeting with him.
H. E. Mansoori, who has an industrial engineering
degree, spent time discussing with Thawani the challenges
of implementing business excellence in the government
sector. These challenges include the relevance and
application of a business excellence model to the
government sector and using it to effectively improve
services and the mind-set that government departments,
like the courts and police, are not in the business
of providing services.
Together, they recognized some of the critical factors
for successful and sustainable improvement programs
and the implementation of business excellence. These
factors include the active involvement of people,
visible commitment and involvement of leadership and
“Compared to private and public organizations,
I was under the impression that it would be relatively
easy for government ministries and departments to
improve performance as they have limited stakeholders
to serve and satisfy,” Thawani said. “Reflecting
back on my interaction, I realized implementing improvement
in the government sector has its own and unique set
of challenges. At times, it may be harder because
it may not be easy to make a business case for change
Interaction with H. E. Mansoori inspired Thawani
to further commit himself to his profession. H. E.
Mansoori was highly supportive of Thawani’s
idea of translating his book into Arabic, he said.
“He promised to read the book, share it with
his colleagues in the office and was kind enough to
autograph one book for me, which I shall always treasure.”