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Nviews Singh

Nviews Singh

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Published by Vipul Rathod
a magazine about india's current affairs and analysis for public enlightment
a magazine about india's current affairs and analysis for public enlightment

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Published by: Vipul Rathod on Mar 12, 2010
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03/12/2010

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N EWS VI
DictatorSINGH
Nohypocrisyinbureaucracy
 
 AvideostillthatallegedlyshowsactressRanjithaandSwamiNityanandaindulginginactsofintimacy.
Red for tapismalert red
HOLDINGministriesandbureaucratsaccountableforresult-orientedimplementationof governanceisnolongeradreaminanopiumden—itishappeninghere,now,andwithanurgency,planningandpurposeneverbeforeundertakeninthehistoryofmodernIndia.Thisexclusivereportonhowthisexercise,directlyunderthePrimeMinister’scontrol,isshakingupthewholesystemofgovernancefromtoptobottomandcouldbenchmarkthemostseriousimplementationofadministrativereformseverattemptedinindependentIndia.
DRIVENbythebeliefthatnationsandgovernmentsthatdonotperformaredoomed,ultimately,toperishundertheweightoftheirowninefficiencyandbureaucraticsloth,PrimeMinister ManmohanSinghhasfinallytakenthebullof maladministrationbythehorns.Inano-nonsensedirectiveinnocuouslylabelled “PerformanceMonitoringandEvaluationSystem(PMES)for GovernmentDepartments”,dated11/9/2009,hehasorderedhisCabinetSecretarytoundertakewhatcouldbethemostambitiousandchallengingtaskeverassignedtoanyheadofbureaucracy:Everydepartmentandministrywill,inatime-boundmanner,prepareaResults-FrameworkDocument(RFD). ThehelmsmanforthisprojectisformerHarvardProfessorandWorldBankeconomistPrajapati Trivedi,whohasthenewtitle,Secretary,PerformanceManagement,andworksinclosecooperationwithPrimeMinisterManmohanSingh,DeputyChairmanofthePlanningCommissionMontekSingh Ahluwalia,andCabinetSecretaryKMChandrasekhar. ThiscouldarguablybethemosthappeningmissioneverundertakenbytheIndiangovernmentduringthelast63years.Shornofbureaucratese,RFDmeans: Areyouimplementingtheadministrativeagenda? Areyoukeepingdeadlines? Areyoushowingresults?Ifnot,whynot? Andifyou’renotperforming,thengetreadytofacethemusic.Nomoreexcuses.Theguidelinesaresuccinct.Theyareimbuedwithauniqueperspectivethatrecognizesthedifficultyofadministeringanationinwhichtheremaybedifferencesbetweenpoliticalandadministrativegoalsandcultures.Forthisreason,theformatoftheRFDisauniquememorandumofunderstandingbetweentheadministratorandhispoliticalboss:ItisarecordofappreciationbetweenaMinisterrepresentingthepeople’smandate,andtheSecretaryofadepartmentresponsibleforimplementingthismandate. Thisdocumentcontainsnotonlytheagreedobjectives,policies,
 
programmesandprojectsbutalsosuccessindicatorsandtargetstomeasureprogressinimplementingthem. Toensurethesuccessfulimplementationofagreedactions,RFDmayalsoincludenecessaryoperationalautonomythatisconsiderednecessarytoachievethedesiredresults.
 
 As Trivediputsit: “ThiswillbeakintoaBillofRightsforgovernmentfunctionaries.Itwillliberatethebureaucracyfromvagariesofad-hocism,subjectivityanduncertainty.” Inthefirstphase,fourministries Home,Finance,DefenceandExternal Affairs areexcludedfromtheperformancemanagementpurview. Alltherestwillberatedonscalesrangingfrom “excellent” to “poor”.Allministrieshavebeeninstructedtoimplementstrategicplanningforthenextfiveyearstoensuretheyaremovingintherightdirection. Thatis,theyshouldnotonlydo “thingsright” butalsodothe “rightthings”.Performanceresultswillbemadepublicandthemarkingswilldetermineseniorpromotionsaswellaspost-retirementappointments.Says Trivedi: “ForthefirsttimeinthehistoryofmodernIndia,theperformanceofdepartmentsandMinistriesoftheGovernmentofIndiawillbemeasured.Whenyoudon’thavemeasurements,howdoyougiveincentives?” Thatisperhapswhyrecommendationsofthe4th,5thand6thPayCommissionsrelatingtoperformance-relatedincentivescouldnotbeimplemented. ThegovernmentisseriouslyexaminingproposalsunderwhichSecretarieswhoperformwellarelikelytoreceiveashighasa40percentbonusontheirbasesalaries.Infact,undertheseproposals,departmentalbonusescouldbelinkedtotheRFD.Underthereformedperformanceappraisalsystem,noofficialwithinadepartmentwillreceivemorethansixoutof10marksinhispromotionorconfidentialreportifthatdepartmentisratedatsixoutof10intheRFD.Inotherwords,noSecretarywillnowhavethefreedomtomarkeverybodyas “excellent” inthefaceofthenew,tangiblebenchmarkingofthedepartmentasawhole.
Table2-MandatorySuccessIndicators:
EachRFDmustcontainthefollowingmandatoryindicatorsfor 2010-11topromotesystemicefficiencyandresponsivenessofdepts

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