Prime Minister's office denies formation of Performance Monitoring System

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New Delhi, Feb 16 (ANI): The Prime Minister's Office on Tuesday denied media reports that the Government has developed a monitoring system, whereby bureaucrats would report the performance of ministers.

It is not factually correct to say that the serving officers will evaluate the performance of the ministers. The Prime Minister's order is clear that the entire process has to be driven by the ministers, said the clarification released on the Performance Monitoring System.

According to the order: "At the beginning of each financial year, with the approval of the Minister concerned, each Department will prepare a Results-Framework Document (RFD) consisting of the priorities set out by the Ministry concerned, agenda as spelt out in the manifesto if any, President's Address, announcements/agenda as spelt out by the Government from time to time. The Minister in charge will decide the inter-se priority among the departmental objectives."

The order further says "To achieve results commensurate with the priorities listed in the Results-Framework Document, the Minister in charge will approve the proposed activities and schemes for the ministry/department."

"The Ministers in charge will also approve the corresponding success indicators (Key Result Areas - KRAs or Key Performance Indicators - KPIs) and time bound targets to measure progress in achieving these objectives," adds the order.

It is also not true that a minister and secretary are jointly required to sign the Results-Framework Document (RFD). The PM's order does not have any such requirement. The minister has the prerogative and the final authority to decide on the priorities and deliverables for the concerned department at the beginning of the year, says the Prime Minister's office.

Once the priorities, direction and deliverables are decided by the minister, it is the responsibility of the department to achieve these results. The assertion that the system is run by a Committee on Government Performance is not true, adds the Prime Minister's office.

According to PM's orders, the main function of this Committee is to ensure uniformity, consistency and coordinated action across various Departments. It does the secretarial work of preparing guidelines, ensuring timely submission of RFDs, and providing feedback to the ministries/departments concerned.

This Committee does not evaluate the performance of ministries or departments. It merely provides technical support to facilitate such evaluation by the ministers concerned. The objective is to ensure accountability of the department to the minister, who lays down the goals and targets for each period.

In a bid to assuage ministerial egos smarting at the prospect of their performances being assessed by a committee of bureaucrats, it was reported that cabinet secretary KM Chandrashekar would be writing to ministers explaining that their authority would not be over-ridden by the appraisal process.

It was reported that the letter would address ministerial concerns that the committee on government performance under the performance monitoring and evaluation system mandated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will review and mark ministries and departments.

The performance system being envisaged had put ministers under a degree of scrutiny. But it was speculated that it would emerge as a useful tool to improve governance and delivery of various programmes. (ANI)

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