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Babus to be monitored

mumbai Updated: May 14, 2010 01:55 IST
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Maharashtra will soon start testing the productivity of its bureaucrats.

The state will introduce a performance monitoring system for bureaucrats to increase accountability and keep checks on departmental delivery mechanisms. The state has taken a leaf out of the Union government’s book for this. The Centre already has a monitoring system in place.

The system requires secretaries to prepare results framework documents stating their goals and targets. “We will be the first state to initiate such a process under which bureaucrats will have to set goals for themselves, set targets and, at the end of each year, see if they have met them,” Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said on Thursday. Chavan was delivering the inaugural address of a two-day workshop being held to train bureaucrats in the new system. “This will not be on the basis of money the department spends but on the basis of the targets they meet,” Chavan said.

From the Centre, Dr Prajapati Trivedi, secretary, performance management, and Arun Maira, member of the Planning Commission, are conducting the workshop. A final working framework will be derived when the workshop ends on Friday.

The workshop concentrates on bureaucrats designing framework documents and setting goals for themselves and the department. They will have to rate themselves on a scale ranging from excellent to poor that will have corresponding weights from 1 to 10 to make evaluation quantifiable.

The minister, chief minister and chief secretary, of the department will evaluate the final marking, which will reflect in the bureaucrats’ confidential reports. These reports will decide their growth.

Prajakta Lavangare-Verma, a bureaucrat heading the public relations and information department who participated in the workshop said, “This is a positive move and the framework document will act as a lighthouse to guide us forward. All departments are ready with the vision documents that will be assimilated into this process.”

Chavan, however, said, getting bureaucrats to perform is not the single aim of the process. “My experience is that although the state has drafted good and ambitious policies and schemes, much is left to be desired in terms of their implementation and benefits to target groups,” he said.

This will be done through the delivery-monitoring unit set up to continuously evaluate projects by departments, he added.

Chavan said secretaries should look at global trends while designing projects and should also give priority to utilising grants from the Centre.