In its first big step towards governance reforms, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has directed all ministries and departments to ensure that new programmes and policies should reflect three objectives — social equity, innovation and public accountability.
This is a departure from the past where Cabinet proposals mostly contained implementation schedules only.
All new proposals forwarded for Cabinet approval, henceforth, will have to explain how they will achieve objectives of social and geographical equity, particularly for backward and disadvantaged communities. “The socio-economic equity in the context of disadvantaged communities, gender and poverty will also have to be looked,” the PMO directive said.
There will have to be an explanation on how the proposals will be executed transparently and how they will enhance participation of people affected.
The move is aimed at making ministries accountable to those affected through measures, including independent evaluation and social audit.
“The dimension of public accountability could include increased stakeholder participation, social audit, independent evaluation, cost benefit analysis, and provision for greater transparency or information disclosure,” said the directive.