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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Govt wants ministries to work in tandem

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 10, 2013
First Published: 22:34 IST(10/3/2013) | Last Updated: 22:42 IST(10/3/2013)

There may be little correlation between sports and governance but the cabinet secretariat has found one to encourage the central ministries to work as a team.

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Like joint effort helps a relay team win and enjoy a victory lap, the central ministries should work together to achieve targets of the government spread across different ministries, the Cabinet Secretariat has said in the 2013-14 annual performance appraisal for ministries called result framework document (RFD).

There is a common belief that most Central government ministries work in silos not knowing what the other arm of the government is doing.

To illustrate the point, the secretariat gave the instance of power generation for which five ministries — power, coal, environment and forest, railways and heavy industries — are responsible but the target is not met because of individualistic approach of the ministries. 

"In order to achieve the desired result, it is necessary to work as a team and not as individuals," the secretariat said in its RFD document.

To inculcate the culture of team work, the secretariat for the first time has made the Planning Commission’s target for the 12th five-year-plan as team targets for the ministries. The panel’s target will be performance indicator for all ministries involved in achieving the listed goal.

It would mean, for example, that power generation target will be there for five ministries. Not achieving the target will result in all the given ministries losing points. The loss of points will depend on the weight for the team target in the respective RFDs, the secretariat said. 

The logic put forth by the secretariat for team targets was in sporting terms.

It said that there is no “consolation in a team member scoring a double century and the team ending up losing the match” and added that all team members must “ensure (like relay race runners) that the entire chain works efficiently”.

The secretariat also said alignment of RFD objectives with 12th Plan objectives would initiate the process of updating departmental strategies for team work and better results.

"It would also enable the government to measure the expected impact the department/ministry on national welfare," the secretariat said, adding that the department/ministry serves the purpose for which they were created in the first place.

The UPA government in its second innings had introduced RFD for ministries and its results get reflected in the annual performance appraisal of bureaucrats working in the central government.

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