With the Cabinet Secretariat finally coming up with an objective formula to measure performance of file-pushing babus, civil servants in Delhi who get good grades would finally get monetary incentives from next year.
The incentive, however, would not be directly linked to their individual grades but the performance of departments and divisions under their charge vis-à-vis their targets and success in cutting administrative costs.
The total incentives to be disbursed amongst civil servants will not exceed 15% of the total savings in non-plan administrative expenditure. The annual targets that they would have to chase would have to be listed at the beginning of each financial year in consultation with an independent group of academics and retired bureaucrats.
The consultation process would ensure that the targets set in the department’s Results Framework Document are not too easy.
At the end of each year, achievement against the pre-determined targets would form the basis of the department’s score, according to the Performance Monitoring and Evaluation System for the central government, cleared by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Government officials contend that the system resolves the biggest hurdle in rewarding performing bureaucrats — measuring their performance.
This system measures the performance of departments and thus, indirectly, the performance of the men and women who lead the departments.
According to the plan drawn up by the cabinet secretariat, secretaries to the central government would be given financial incentives to be disbursed down the line. The incentive would be a function of the department’s score as well as the savings they make.
It will be 20% for those who achieve all targets in the first three years, 30% between the fourth and sixth year and 40% from the seventh year onwards, till the ninth year.
“The incentives increase because as the years go by, it will become more and more difficult to achieve ambitious targets and make savings. The system will force civil servants to be innovative in their approach,” a government official explained.
But key ministries such as those dealing with defence, home and finance will be left out of the incentive scheme unless they voluntarily agree to have their performance evaluated.
These are also departments — led by senior ministers — that have resisted suggestions to be covered under the performance evaluation scheme or haven’t volunteered.