Civil Servants to be assessed based on an upgraded MaX system

One big question on the minds of civil servants are how they will be assessed individually, what will be the rewards or punishments and what are they expected to do.

The RCSC said that civil servants will be assessed through an improved version of the current Managing for Excellence (MaX) system and it is expected to be rolled out sometime this year.

A RCSC teams are soon expected to travel to the Dzongkhags to sensitize them on the system.

The RCSC, in consultation with executives, has been reviewing and revamping the personnel management systems and approach.

“We want to shift the entire Civil Service to better support Bhutan’s transformation.Currently a work-in-progress, MaX, is the one system that is designed to drive higher standards of performance in the Civil Service,” said the RCSC.

RCSC clarified that MaX is not a system that is meant to manage out huge numbers of officers.

“Rather, the MaX aspires to reward and recognise civil servants across all position levels, who consistently work hard and contribute effectively to their teams and organisations, and serve the public well,” it said.

“At the same time, those who are consistently unable to meet the expectations of their position levels should expect to exit.”

The RCSC does not have a fixed number of executives and officers whom it would want to progress under the MaX and neither does it have a fixed number of those who should be managed out.

According to RCSC through MaX, it wants to institute an effective performance-driven culture in which staff across all position levels are incentivised to perform on the job.

“This needs to be supported by a fair and accurate system of performance assessments. Part of the MaX’s implementation success will largely depend on the ability of our leaders and officers in the civil service to objectively evaluate and accurately derive every officer’s performance on the job,” said RCSC.

In short, every single civil servant has a role to play that will determine whether MaX succeeds or not according to the agency.

The RCSC said it will be investing efforts to build capacities and a strong culture of performance on the job and performance management.

However, RCSC said they expect that it will minimally take some years before the system reaches a reasonable level of maturity and stability.

The flaw in the current MaX system is that based on the Annual Performance Agreement (APA) agencies get a score and since agencies somehow meet APA targets the agency scores are the scores of the executives and P 1 officers. Then based on the agency performance people are supposed to be moderated and put in outstanding, very good, good and needs improvement.

The new MaX system will not assign agency scores to executives as it is not fair as some executives maybe doing better than others.

The new system will still use the Individual Work Plan but an improved and more current version.

Supervisors are expected to not assess staff not only once a year but throughout the year so that people know what they are doing and where they can improve.

In the new system the Cabinet Secretary at the top will be accountable to the Cabinet and RCSC. Then she will look after the C4S Cluster Secretaries who in turn will manage the secretaries who in turn will manage their executives and so on down the line till everyone is accountable.

In the new system the RCSC will be using the Service Evaluation Tool to assess services and currently 22 services are being assessed by taking the views of random clients through phone calls or SMS.

The reward in the new MaX system will be the Performance Based Incentive which can be 100 percent of the pay and is linked to national, organization and individual performances.

More details are expected to be shared once the system is ready.

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