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RFD at Central Government

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Results-Framework Document (RFD)


A Results-Framework Document (RFD) is essentially a record of understanding between a Minister representing the people’s mandate, and the Secretary of a Department responsible for implementing this mandate.  This document contains not only the agreed objectives, policies, programs and projects but also success indicators and targets to measure progress in implementing them. To ensure the successful implementation of agreed actions, RFD may also include necessary operational autonomy.

The RFD seeks to address three basic questions: (a) What are ministry’s/department’s main objectives for the year? (b) What actions are proposed by the department to achieve these objectives? (c) How would someone know at the end of the year the degree of progress made in implementing these actions? That is, what are the relevant success indicators and their targets which can be monitored?

The RFD should contain the following six sections:

Section 1

Ministry’s / department’s Vision, Mission, Objectives and Functions.

Section 2

Inter se priorities among key objectives, success indicators and targets.

Section 3

Trend values of the success indicators.

Section 4

Description and definition of success indicators and proposed measurement methodology.

Section 5

Specific performance requirements from other departments that are critical for delivering agreed results.

Section 6

Outcome / Impact of activities of department/ministry


RFD Cycle


A. Beginning of the Year

      At the beginning of each financial year, with the approval of the Minister concerned, each Department prepares a Results-Framework Document (RFD) consistent with these guidelines.

      To achieve results commensurate with the priorities listed in the RFD, the Minister in-charge approves the proposed activities and schemes for the Ministry/Department.  The Ministers In-charge also approves the corresponding success indicators (Key Result Areas – KRAs, and Success Indicators) and time bound targets to measure progress in achieving these objectives.

      Based on the proposed budgetary allocations for the year in question, the drafts of RFDs should be submitted to PMD by 5th of March every year. The RFD should be aligned to the Plan priorities and Outcome Budget.  To ensure uniformity, consistency and coordinated action across various Departments, the Cabinet Secretariat reviews these drafts and provides feedback to the Ministries / Departments concerned. 

      These draft RFDs are then reviewed by an independent group of non-government experts. This group is called the Ad-hoc Task Force (ATF) and consists of former Secretaries to GOI, distinguished academicians, former CEOs of public enterprises, and private sector domain experts.

      After the review by ATF, the RFDs are sent for approval of the High Power Committee (HPC) on Government Performance consisting of the Cabinet Secretary (Chair), Finance Secretary, Expenditure Secretary, Secretary (Planning Commission), Secretary (Performance Management).

      The final versions of all RFDs, approved by HPC, should be put up on the websites of the respective Ministries by the 15th of April each year.

      The revised Results Framework of each Department/Ministry should be submitted to the Cabinet Secretariat, by the 15th April of each year. 

B. During the Year

     After six months, the Results Framework as well as the achievements of each Ministry/Department against the performance goals laid down at the beginning of the year, is reviewed by the High Power Committee (HPC) on Government Performance and, if required, the Secretary of the Department concerned could be invited for resolving any disagreements. At this stage, the Results-Framework Documents may have to be reviewed and the goals reset, taking into account the priorities at that point of time.  This enables us to factor in unforeseen or force majeure circumstances such as drought conditions, natural calamities or epidemics.  The report of the High Power Committee on Government Performance is to be submitted to the Prime Minister, through the concerned Minister, for further action as deemed necessary.

C. End of the Year

     At the end of the year, all Ministries/Departments will review and prepare a report listing the achievements of their ministry/department against the agreed results in the prescribed format. This report will be required to be finalized by the 1st of May each year.

     After scrutiny by the Cabinet Secretariat, these results will be placed before the Cabinet for information by 1st of June each year.

Year-end Evaluation

At the end of the year, we look at the achievements of the government department, compare them with the targets, and determine the composite score.  Table 4 provides an example from the health sector.  For simplicity, we have taken only one objective to illustrate the evaluation methodology.

The Raw Score for Achievement in Column 6 of Table 4 is obtained by comparing the achievement with the agreed target values.  For example, the achievement for first success indicator (% increase in primary health care centers) is 15 %.  This achievement is between 80 % (Good) and 70 % (Fair) and hence the “Raw Score is 75%.”

The Weighted Raw Score for Achievement in Column 6 is obtained by multiplying the Raw Score with the relative weights.  Thus for the first success indicator, the Weighted Raw Score is obtained by multiplying 75% by 0.50.  This gives us a weighted raw score of 37.5%

 Finally, the Composite Score is calculated by adding up all the Weighted Raw Scores for achievements. In Table 4, the Composite Score is calculated to be 84.5%.

 Table 4: Example of Performance Evaluation at the End of the Year


Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Column 4

Column 5

Column 6



Criteria /

Success Indicators



Target / Criteria Values





Raw Score












Better Rural Health

Improve Access to Primary Health Care


% Increase in number of primary health care centers












% Increase in number of people with access to a primary health center within 20 KMs












Number of hospitals with ISO 9000 certification by December 31, 2009











Composite Score =   



he Composite score shows the degree to which the government department in question was able to meet its objectives.  The fact that it got a score of 84.5 % in our hypothetical example implies that the department’s performance vis-à-vis this objective was rated as “Very Good.”

The methodology outlined above is transcendental in its application. Various Government departments will have a diverse set of objectives and corresponding success indicators. Yet, at the end of the year every department will be able to compute its Composite Score for the past year. This Composite Score will reflect the degree to which the department was able to achieve the promised results.

Departmental Rating

Value of Composite Score

Excellent =

100%  - 96%

Very Good =

95% - 86%

Good =

85 – 76%

Fair =

75% - 66%

Poor =

65% and below



 Guidelines for Results-Framework Document

Other Guidelines

Useful Links:

List of Departments required to prepare RFDs

Syndicate S. No. Ministry / Department

Syndicate 1

(Agriculture & Rural Development)

1 D/o Agriculture & Cooperation
2 D/o Agricultural Research & Education
3 D/o Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries
4 M/o Food Processing Industries
5 D/o Rural Development
6 M/o Panchayati Raj
7 M/o Environment & Forests
8 D/o Land Resources
9 M/o Drinking Water & Sanitation
10 M/o Earth Sciences
11 D/o Official Language

Syndicate 2

(Human Development)

1 D/o Health & Family Welfare
3 D/o Health Research
4 D/o AIDS Control
5 D/o School Education & Literacy
6 D/o Higher Education
7 M/o Women & Child Development
8 D/o Sports
9 D/o Youth Affairs
10 M/o Statistics & Programme Implementation
11 D/o Justice
12 D/o Legal Affairs
13 Legislative Department

Syndicate 3

(Resosurce Management)

1 D/o Chemicals and Petrochemicals
2 D/o Fertilizers
3 D/o Pharmaceuticals
4 M/o Coal
5 M/o Mines
6 M/o New & Renewable Energy
7 M/o Petroleum & Natural Gas
8 M/o Power
9 M/o Steel
10 M/o Water Resources
11 D/o Disinvestment

Syndicate 4

(Trade, Industry & Services)

1 D/o Commerce
2 M/o Textiles
3 D/o Industrial Policy & Promotion
4 M/o Corporate Affairs
5 D/o Heavy Industries
6 D/o Public Enterprises
7 M/o Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises
8 M/o Tourism
9 M/o Culture
10 M/o Information & Broadcasting
11 D/o Personnel & Training
12 D/o Defense Production
13 D/o Defense Research & Development

Syndicate 5

(Infrastructure Management)

1 M/o Civil Aviation
2 D/o Telecommunications
3 D/o Posts
4 D/o Information & Technology
5 M/o Dev. of North-Eastern Region
6 M/o Road Transport & Highways
7 M/o Shipping
8 D/o Science & Technology
9 D/o Scientific & Industrial Research
10 D/o Bio-Tech
11 D/o Space
12 M/o Railways

Syndicate 6

(Social Welfare)

1 D/o Food & Public Distribution
2 D/o Consumer Affairs
3 M/o Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation
4 M/o Labor & Employment
5 M/o Minority Affairs
6 M/o Overseas Indian Affairs
7 M/o Social Justice & Empowerment
8 M/o Tribal Affairs
9 M/o Urban Development
10 D/o Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances
11 D/o Pension & Pensioners Welfare
12 D/o Ex-Servicemen Welfare
13 D/o Disability Affairs