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Performance Management

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Excerpts from the 10th Report of


(Chapter 11 on Performance Management)

Performance Management System

11.1 Present System for Performance Management in Government

11.1.1 The Conventional Performance Management System Traditionally governance structures in India are characterized by rulebased approaches. Th e focus of the civil services in India is on processregulation: compliance with centrally prescribed standards and rules; in other words, how things should be done and how inputs should be aligned. With such focus on processes, systems in government are oriented towards input usagehow much resources, staff and facilities are deployed in a scheme, programme or project and whether such deployment is in accordance with rules and regulations. Th e main performance measure thus is the amount of money spent and the success of the schemes, programmes and projects is generally evaluated in terms of the inputs consumed. While such an approach satisfi es the considerations of economy of inputs and compliance with process regulation, it fails to indicate what are the results achieved by the activities of government in general and deployment of public funds in particular. In fact, the focus on input for accountability and control has led to a situation in which civil servants are rarely held accountable for the outcomes. Compliance with rules is not sufficient for achieving outcomes. Obviously, the objective must be to shift the focus away from traditional concerns such as expenditure and activity levels towards a framework that would manage for results by developing robust indicators to assess performance in terms of results. Performance management as it exists in government includes conventional tools like the budgetary exercise, annual reports published by the Ministries/Departments, performance budgets and the recently introduced outcome budget. Ministries and departments of government have varying practices of periodically reviewing their organizational performance. In addition, special studies are also commissioned from time to time. These are the basic requirements of a performance management system and much more is required to be done. Some earlier initiatives are described in the following paragraphs.