Govt can’t hide report cards of ministries: watchdog

Three years ago, the Manmohan Singh government started evaluating the performance of central ministries. Now, an RTI appeal filed by HT may force it to make their report cards public.

Chief information commissioner Satyananda Mishra on Tuesday directed the UPA government to release the assessments. The ruling came on a Right to Information appeal filed by HT against the cabinet secretariat’s decision to treat the report cards as a secret on the grounds that they were yet to be placed before the cabinet, and were thus exempted from the RTI. The government has 15 working days to comply.

The exercise, aimed at improving the government’s efficiency by fixing accountability, was launched in 2009.

Inspired by management guru Peter Drucker’s principle — ‘what gets measured, gets done’ — it assessed the performance of 72 central ministries and departments against targets fixed at the beginning of each year.

The scores were to be made public on June 1 every year, but the cabinet secretariat’s performance management division didn’t stick to the plan, reportedly over concerns that it could embarrass ministers whose departments fared poorly.

Mishra said the intention to place the documents before the cabinet first “cannot be a shield against disclosure of this nature”.


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