Making the grade will get tough for ministries, babus | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Making the grade will get tough for ministries, babus

delhi Updated: May 30, 2011 01:20 IST
Aloke Tikku

Did the tourism ministry do a better job than the ministry of health, water or textiles? You will know in a month.

The high-powered committee on government performance will next month finalise the first report card of 59 central ministries covered under a performance management scheme over the past year.

The panel, headed by the cabinet secretary, was to meet next week. But it was decided to push it by three weeks to enable the cabinet secretary-designate Ajit K Seth to chair the meeting.

The report card will be presented to the union cabinet before it is put in the public domain.

It will evaluate the achievements of the ministries against the objectives set in consultation with the cabinet secretariat in the Results Framework Document in April 2010 and grade their performance.

“Unlike surveys on performance of ministers and their departments, this report card will be based on their performance that can be measured rather than perceived,” a senior government source said.

And it wouldn’t be easy to get a good grade. A score of 60% will be treated as poor, 70% will be fair and an excellent grade will need a 100% score.

A similar report card was prepared last June on an experimental basis but never made public. “There was some discomfort about making the report card public last year since it only covered performance over three months,” a government source said.

But secretaries of departments that did not fare well did get a stinker, by name, from cabinet secretary KM Chandrasekhar.

The ministries will be marked for not just delivering on their commitment but also adhering to timelines. And it will not be enough to push paper. The work on the ground has to be done.

Besides, to ensure that ministries do not try to pull a fast one, the finance ministry and the planning commission will have to certify claims of allocation and expenditure made by the ministries.

By next year, the government also intends to start financial incentives for civil servants working at ministries that score high on the performance scale and link individual performance appraisals to the department’s performance.

“You will then not have a situation where bureaucrats get excellent scores in their annual appraisals if units under their charge score poor or good,” an official explained.