The department’s response in dealing with these challenges and successfully tackling it is highly dependent on its internal clients as they are its first line of contact. The perception of schools and their staffs regarding the service quality is a very important analysis. Assessing their perceptions becomes an important step in informing interventions which could start addressing some of the perceptions, giving the department a better chance at improving its basic mandate of quality service delivery. Service delivery can always be administered better if the service provider takes an opinion of the people to whom the service is going to be implemented. The need for the study is further strengthened by the Public Service Regulations (C1 & C2, No.
20117, July 1999) which specify that an executing authority shall establish and sustain a Service Delivery Improvement Plan (SDIP) for her/his department, which should incorporate service standards. The study thus focuses on the internal services provided by the administration units at the provincial department whose primary function it is to provide a wide variety of internal customers with various types of administrative services. The Public Finance Management Act (Act No.
1 of 1999) stipulates that strategic plans cannot be developed in isolation and that they must be integrally linked to a department’s Service Delivery Improvement Plan. Moreover, the PFMA emphasizes the importance of regular monitoring and reporting against measurable objectives that are linked to outputs and service delivery indicators (section 27(4) of the PFMA). From the above discussion, it is quite clear that service standards become central in attempting to rectify the current position, the department finds itself in. By assessing clients’ perceptions and expectations, this study will assess and advise the department on possible strategies to be developed that will address negative perceptions through overall service improvement, thereby consequently addressing a serious management problem in the Northern Cape Department of Education. Aims of the Study The aim of this study is to investigate the Northern Cape Department of Education’s service standards provided to its internal clients, by assessing their perception and expectations of the services provided by the provincial official and administrative units. Objectives To use the SERVQUAL instrument, in the administrative wing of the department of education, to assess internal clients levels of satisfaction on the quality of administrative services provided by the provincial office of the Northern Cape Education Department.