APAs to be reviewed through the APA-Quality Assurance Framework

Monthly ministers’ management agreement also to be signed with the PM

The Annual Performance Agreement (APA) for the fiscal year 2018-2019 was signed between the Prime Minister and ministers of nine ministries, heads of ten autonomous agencies, Dzongdag of Thimphu Dzongkhag administration, and Thimphu Thrompon in the capital on Wednesday, February 26.

The Performance Agreement represents an important accountability mechanism for inculcating a performance-based culture at all levels of government. It also helps to provide an objective and fair basis for evaluating at the end of the year on the overall performance of the signatories.

The APA will also ensure that the signatories are fully responsible for driving the implementation of the plans and delivering the results in accordance with their respective annual priorities to establish clarity and ensure that the progress is consistent with the 12th FYP.

Lyonchhen Dr. Lotay Tshering urged all the civil servants to use APAs as a tool to deliver on their annual targets and called for collective efforts to take advantage of the opportunities and meet emerging challenges through innovative approaches. Lyonchhen said that normally the signing of APA takes place after the Parliament passes the recommended budget in the summer session, however, APA 2018-19 could not be signed on schedule due to the transition period of the government.

“Nonetheless, there are still four months left and after going through all the papers, I have noticed that most of the plans and activities were unvarying with that of past, so it is needless to worry about the delay in signing the agreements. It is the perspective that matters here, the signatories should be further motivated to work hard in order to successfully realize the goals of the agreement. There should be collaboration and coordination among all the stakeholders,” said Lyonchhen.

Lyonchhen said that in the next APA signing, there are also plans to incorporate new plans and programs into the agreement.

The Prime Minister also shared that ministers will sign a monthly ministers’ management agreement with him to ensure coordination among the ministries and so as to be well informed among one another on the tasks being undertaken by the respective ministries. “The ministers will have to report to me on the monthly progress of the works as per their agreements. It is very important for every minister to be well-informed on the plans and activities being initiated in one another’s ministry in order to improve coordination and collaboration,” said Lyonchhen.

Towards further improvement on the overall quality of APAs, the National Technical Committee has come up with an APA-Quality Assurance Framework (A-QAF) through which APAs submitted by the signatories will be reviewed and rated prior to formal signing with the Prime Minister. The A-QAF has been formulated to ensure that the APAs are thoroughly scrutinized and aligned with the national objectives highlighted in the Five Year Plan document.

The National Technical Committee (NTC) is responsible for the review of the proposed APA targets, review linkage of annual budget proposals and evaluate the annual performance Scores. The NTC comprises of officials from the Royal Civil Service Commission, Department of National Budget (Ministry of Finance), Gross National Happiness Commission, National Statistics Bureau and Government Performance Management Division (GPMD).

The Government Performance Management System (GPMS) is a significant mechanism to monitor, problem-solve and evaluate the performance of government agencies in an objective manner. Monitoring and Evaluation of government agencies with the whole-of-government approach through the engagement of various central and implementing agencies result in a strengthened accountability mechanism.

The Performance Management System is mechanized through the Annual Performance Agreement (APA) as a tool to set annual deliverables of government agencies (from the Five Year Plan deliverables) in the form of an official agreement with the head of executives.

The Ministers also signed with their respective Secretaries. The signing of the APA for the Dzongkhags will be conducted at a later date.

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