04 January 2010

Performance in the government

Today's Mint has a piece: IIM-A faculty to provide capacity building support for PMESGD. In plain English, here is what is happening.

The Cabinet Secretariat has a division on performance of the government. This division is responsible for creating performance measures for various ministries and departments (and other offices of the government). The process is as follows. Each Ministry or Department will create a document which gives what it seeks to achieve in the next year. This document is then moderated by a panel (of which I am a member as well) of retired bureaucrats, academicians and a few persons from the private sector who ensure that the Ministry/Department is not trying to count inputs but outputs i.e. not the number of meetings held but what is the target for poverty reduction in numbers.

After the document is finalised, it will be posted on the website of the Performance division of the Cabinet Secretariat http://performance.gov.in/ for citizens and journalists to see and analyse. At the end of the period of one year (the first round is only for a quarter) each Ministry/Department will be evaluated on what tasks it had sought to achieve and what it actually achieved.

This exercise could be real game changer for government ministries and departments which are not used to being being evaluated for performance till now. And therefore for the nation as a whole which will analyse and criticise the non performing Ministry/Departments and also reward good performance by others.

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