Cabinet gives the green signal to Performance Management System

The cabinet in a recent meeting has approved the Performance Management System (PMS) which is expected to roll out in a pilot phase by June 2014 to July 2015 in all government ministries and agencies.

It is then expected to be implemented in full from July 2015 till 2018 to rate the performance of government agencies and individual civil servants.

The cabinet in the meeting appointed a steering committee for the PMS consisting of 10 Chief planning officers from the 10 ministries, one RCSC Commissioner and the Prime Minister as the Chairman. The Ministry of Economic Affairs Minister Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk will be the Chairman in the absence of the Prime Minister.

An eight member task force to work in a hands on manner on the PMS especially in its technical aspects was also appointed by the cabinet.

The task force will do the actual ground work on the PMS and keep updating the committee.

The task force members are from the Cabinet Secretariat, GHC, RCSC, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Ministry of Finance and DHI.

The steering committee will be tasked with making all the key decisions in relation to the PMS based on the presentations by the Task Force working on the PMS. It will regularly check on the work of the Task force and the cross cutting nature of the committee will ensure views from all ministries. The committee will also finally endorse and approve the PMS designed by the Task Force.

Cabinet members have endorsed the idea of the PMS not only restricting itself to measuring the performance of government agencies but also the performance of individual civil servants.

Ministers are said to have said that if the system is objective and the civil servants know that the government will be individually assessing their performance then it would motivate civil servants.

The Prime Minister had said that the PMS would be one of the key flagship projects of the government.

The government hopes that apart from improving good governance the PMS would also improve Bhutan’s image as a destination for investment.

PMS is also seen in the government as being a comprehensive tool to reform, improve and make the civil service more efficient. An executive order on the PMS is being expected soon.

Currently the PMS is already being studied and worked on by the Cabinet Secretariat and the GNHC.

The task force after its first meeting will head to New Delhi to visit and study the Government of India Performance Management Department under the office of the Indian Prime Minister.

Though the PMS of India does not yet evaluate individual civil servants it could be adapted to Bhutan’s requirements whereby individual civil servants can be judged. Bhutan is taking close look at India’s PMS since the Bhutanese civil service was started and based on the Indian Civil Service system in the early years of development.

Bhutan, however, will also look at other models of other countries with PMS and it will all be adapted to fit in with the Bhutanese system.

The Task Force after doing its initial study will present it to the steering committee and proceed ahead from thereon.

Cabinet members instructed that the PMS system should be simple and user friendly and ICT friendly too.

The PMS project proposes to set up the creation of a Technical Committee consisting of Chief Planning officers of the 10 ministries headed by the GNHC secretary which will judge the quality of work done by any agency.

The quantity of work done by an agency will already be known by comparing it with the targets set.

Once the agency’s overall performance is known then the PMS system will evaluate downwards to the individual civil servants.

The presence of a Technical Committee will be there to remove individual agency bias. The committee will include people like Dzongdas or the Department of Local government when evaluating Dzongkhags.

The PMS project will also have to look at how PMS will be institutionalized with one proposal already being to place it as an important agency under the Cabinet Secretariat.

The 11th plan has 16 national key result areas or targets sub divided into 160 sectoral key result areas. Under the PMS the government will divide the 11th plan and other targets down to the Ministry, Department, Division level even the individual level and assess their performance on an annual basis.

The PMS system is aimed at making the civil service more efficient and in also finding out who is doing how much. The system will also have incentives for performers and people not doing their share will be held accountable.

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