Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane on Progress with Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Agreements
21 Sep 2010
Collins Chabane, Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation briefed the media on Delivery Agreements and the plans for their implementation. The Minister highlighted the importance of these agreements in ensuring that quality service was delivered to the citizenry.
Q: What kind of remedial action will Cabinet be able to recommend with regard to underperforming departments? Who would make the final decision on the nature of the remedial action to be implemented/ taken?
A: The Minister replied that Cabinet would receive quarterly reports and remedial recommendations emanating from the findings in those reports from each department. These reports would provide Cabinet with a wider understanding of the issues assuaging a particular Department. Ultimately the President was a signatory to the Delivery Agreements along with the various Ministers therefore he would have the right to sit with individual Ministers and work through arising issues on a one-on-one basis thus allowing him to make decisions on remedial action where necessary.
Q: What are the likely changes to be made on implementation plans on the Service Agreements as mentioned in the statement?
A: The Minister replied that changes would occur in the implementation of the Agreements as challenges become clearer and changes were necessitated to overcome those challenges. Changes would become necessary when new data arose in the implementation of the Delivery Agreements. The changes to be undertaken would be slight and would only be undertaken when a situation necessitated their undertaking. The Delivery Agreements would mirror the Programme of Action proclamations once they had been drafted and approved by the various ministries in order to ensure that delivery was given proper attention.
Q: Why is it necessary to have Delivery Agreements, shouldn’t the various Ministers and Departments recognise the tasks before them and the necessity of carrying out work in a particular portfolio diligently?
A: The Minister responded that Agreements were necessary so that government had measurable standards from which to base its work and a standardised level which it could not breach in the pursuit of providing good quality services to the citizenry.
Q: What are the timelines for the carrying out of the principles set out in the Delivery Agreements and what are the repercussions for underperforming Ministers?
A: The Minister replied that Delivery Agreements would be more focused on the work of a Department in conjunction with stakeholders who assisted that Department in carrying out its work. There were occurrences when a particular Ministry was not responsible for the failings in some of its work and the Delivery Agreements would take all extenuating circumstances into consideration. The object of the Delivery Agreements was not necessarily to oust Ministers who were seen to be underperforming but rather to assist in improving the quality of their work and by that virtue the nature of their Department’s ability to deliver good service.
Q: Will there be a peer review mechanism in place should a particular Minister fail to carry out the duties of his/her Department fully?
A: The Minister responded that there would be a quarterly report on the progress of various ministries which would be given to Cabinet and the President.
Q: If the Delivery Agreements are not about making individual Ministers accountable, then who will take the blame when delivery is poor?
A: The Minister replied that all Ministers had signed Performance Agreements with the President which they were accountable for. Emphasis in the Delivery Agreements was however mainly placed on the various works of departments, including stakeholders, with the coordinating Minister ultimately accountable. The Agreements would foster individual as well as collective accountability.
Q: Will the quarterly reports on Delivery be made available to the public?
A: The Minister replied that they would be available to the public via the Presidency’s website after they had been reviewed by Cabinet.
Q: In light of the scrapping of the old ministerial cluster system, what form does the new format take and how do Ministers meet to discuss their work with respect to cluster work?
A: The Minister replied that the Cluster system would be replaced by Delivery Forums which focused on discussing implementation. Cabinet would remain the main area for the discussion of policy questions and issues.
Q: Who do the Ministers sign the Delivery Agreements with and who do the Head of Departments and Senior Managers in Departments sign their agreements with?
A: The Minister replied that Ministers signed the Delivery Agreements with the President. Senior Managers in Departments would sign their agreements with the respective Minister.
Q: How will Ministers rely on the information emanating from their respective ministries in light of the shocking amount of corruption in certain Departments?
A: Dr Shaun Phillips, Director General: Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Presidency, explained that assessments of government performance by independent institutions would be triangulated with quarterly reports from departments to check the veracity of the information delivered by Ministries.
The briefing was adjourned.
STATEMENT BY MINISTER COLLINS CHABANE ON PROGRESS WITH PERFORMANCE MONITORING AND EVALUATION,
29 SEPTEMBER 2010
Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media
Today, we are proud to brief you on a significant achievement of yet another one of our key milestones, the signing of the Delivery Agreements for the 12 outcomes. The signing of the Delivery Agreements is an important and final phase to complete our planning process and begin to usher in the implementation phase. The Delivery Agreements for each of the outcomes have now been largely completed and will be signed from tomorrow, 30 September 2010 and over the coming weeks.
This process follows the successful completion of the performance outcomes and the signing of Performance Agreements between President Jacob Zuma and Ministers in April this year. The Department for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation(PME) will now facilitate the process of regular reporting and monitoring of progress against the agreed outputs and targets in the Delivery Agreements. This process will foster an understanding of how the various spheres of government are going to work together to achieve the outcomes. Many aspects of the delivery agreements are already being implemented. This process therefore, is intended to strengthen current systems to ensure a co-ordinated and results focused approach to service delivery.
During October and early November the President will be meeting with those Ministers who are coordinating the development of the Delivery Agreements, in order to obtain progress reports and to discuss the likely challenges which lie ahead in their implementation.
In addition to the Delivery Agreements, the President will be continuing with his programme of visiting service delivery sites to monitor progress. The purpose of these site visits is for the President to gain first-hand experience of service delivery and to highlight issues that need to be worked on by the various arms of government.
The President will also conduct a programme of visits to individual government departments to monitor their performance starting in November. The Department for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (PME) will, working with other departments, provide the President with performance information of departments. This will include information on performance in relation to the performance agreements he signed with the Ministers, performance against departmental strategic plans, and an assessment of the quality of management practices.
In addition, PME is currently working with other departments at the centre of government, including National Treasury, DPSA, COGTA, and Office of the Premiers, to develop and pilot an institutional Performance Assessment Tool which will be used to objectively assess the quality of management practices in departments and municipalities. The tool will be informed by good international practice, and we are receiving assistance and advice from the Canadian, UK and Dutch governments in this regard.
The management practices assessed will include basic administrative issues such as supply chain management, financial management, human resource management and development, and service standards. The main aim of these performance assessments will be to develop a culture of continuous improvement in the public service. Together with the other departments at the centre of government, we will be working with all departments to assist them to improve areas of weakness identified by the performance assessments. Discussions are also under way with DPSA and the Office of the Public Service Commission regarding the possibility of linking the results of these institutional performance assessments to the annual performance assessments of Heads of Departments.
I will now describe the process of producing the Delivery Agreements in more detail;
In January this year, this government adopted the outcomes approach which should guide the work of this administration for this term. In his State of the Nation Address, President Zuma committed that this administration’s work will be measured according to outcomes. The outcomes approach follows a four step process;
The first step involves the adoption of a set of key strategic outcomes with measurable outputs and key activities. The starting point was the Ruling Party’s election manifesto, which identified five priority areas, namely decent work and sustainable livelihoods; education; health; rural development, food security and land reform; and the fight against crime and corruption.
Government translated the priorities into the Medium Term Strategic Framework 2009-2014, which identified 10 strategic priorities. The priorities were then further developed into the 12 key outcomes, together with draft high-level outputs, key activities and metrics.
The second step was the development and signing of performance agreements between the President and Ministers which outlined high level outputs, indicators, targets and key activities for each outcome. In instances where Departments do not contribute directly to the 12 outcomes, their performance agreements include key outputs from the strategic plans of their departments. The President will in the coming weeks meet with coordinating Ministers to obtain feedback on the conclusion of the delivery agreements.
The third step, which is where we are now, is about converting the high level outputs and metrics into a detailed Delivery Agreement with the key partners that need to work together to achieve the outputs. The negotiated agreement spells out who will do what, by when and with what resources. Collectively, these agreements will reflect government’s delivery and implementation plans for its foremost priorities.
The coordinating Ministers have been coordinating the process of negotiating the Delivery Agreements through established delivery forums. These delivery forums are either national government clusters or intergovernmental meetings of national Ministers and their provincial and national counterparts, depending on the nature of the outcome.
The fourth step is the monitoring of the implementation of the Delivery Agreements and deciding on interventions when required. This will provide a feedback loop to regular reviews of the Delivery Agreements. This monitoring will be done by the Delivery Forums who will produce quarterly progress reports which will be submitted to PME Department for submission to Cabinet. PME will also collect data on progress with key indicators from other independent sources. Cabinet will review these progress reports and agree on remedial actions where necessary.
Delivery Agreements are collective agreements that in most cases involve all spheres of government and in some cases a range of partners outside of government. Combined, these agreements will reflect government’s delivery and implementation plans for its priorities. They serve as a basis for reaching agreement with multiple agencies that are central to the delivery of the outcome targets.
The PME Department has been involved in the discussions and negotiations of the Delivery Agreements and providing support in this regard.
A delivery agreement:
A delivery agreement is a negotiated agreement between the key partners who will work together to deliver on an outcome. The lead coordinating department provides the leadership and will be assisted by all key role players.
The agreements are detailed and provide descriptions of key activities: who needs to do what, by when, and with what resources.
The Delivery Agreements take into account the context in which implementation must happen: the existing legislation, regulations, institutional arrangements, funding and related issues.
The Delivery Agreements describe the logic between inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes and targets.
Delivery Agreements are a detailed implementation plan for Ministerial Performance Agreements related to the 12 outcomes.
At national level, Ministers that are signatories to a Delivery Agreement will be held accountable by the President. The Performance Agreements between the President and Ministers will be a mechanism for the President to hold ministers accountable. As the Minister for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, I will be a signatory to the Delivery Agreement for Outcome 12, relating to creating an efficient and effective public service.
In conclusion, as from tomorrow and over the coming weeks, the ministers involved in the various outcomes will brief the media on the contents of the delivery agreements as they are signed. GCIS will be coordinating and announcing dates for briefings on various outcomes.
Issued by The Ministry for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation
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