ATC130916: Report of the Standing Committee on Appropriations on its study tour to the United States of America and Canada from 29 September to 10 October 2012, Dated 31 July 2013
the Standing Committee on Appropriations on its study tour to the United States
of America and Canada from 29 September to 10 October 2012, Dated 31 July 2013
The Standing Committee on Appropriations having undertaken an international study tour to the United States of America and Canada from 29 September to 10 October 2012, reports as follows:
The Standing Committee on Appropriations (the
Committee) was established in terms of the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and
Related Matters Act, No 09 of 2009 (the Act). In terms of section 4(3) of the
Act, each House must establish a Committee on Appropriations whose powers and
functions include considering and reporting on the following matters:
Amendments to the Division of Revenue, the
Appropriation Bill, Supplementary Appropriation Bill and the Adjusted
Recommendations of the Financial and Fiscal
Reports on actual expenditure published by
the National Treasury (section 32 reports); and
Any other related matters.
In addition to the above mandate, the
Committee has been given an extended mandate by the National Assembly Rules
Committee on 1 November 2011, in terms of Rule 199 (b) to assume the
legislative and oversight function over the Department in the Presidency for
Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, including the National Youth Development
The Department of Performance Monitoring and
Evaluation was established in 2009, in terms of section 85(3) of the Constitution
of the Republic of South Africa. In the Fourth Parliament, Government adopted
an Outcome Based Approach wherein each department is expected to achieve a
particular outcome at the end of the five year period.
To enforce the achievement of these outcomes
the President signed performance agreements with individual Ministers linked to
a particular outcome. Furthermore, Government departments signed delivery
agreements with agencies and other stakeholders which are involved in the
achievement of particular outcomes. Therefore, the establishment of the
Department was aimed to bring more focus on performance monitoring and
evaluation of service delivery.
Delegation of the trip
The delegation from Parliament was as
African National Congress)
Mr GT Snell (African National Congress)
(African National Congress)
Mr L Ramatlakane (Congress of the People)
Mr M Swart (Democratic Alliance)
The delegation from the Department was as
Deputy Minister, Mr O
Deputy Director-General, Dr I Goldman
Deputy Director-General, Ms N
Director of Evaluation, Ms C Jacobs
Personal Assistant, Ms C
Information and Content Director for the
Deputy Minister, Ms N
The Committee has been invited by the
Department in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (the
Department) to join it on a study tour to the United States of America and
Canada from 29 September to 10 October 2012. The team was led by the Deputy
Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation as well as
Administration, Mr O
, and the coordination was
undertaken by the Deputy Director-General in the Department responsible for
Evaluation and Research, Dr I Goldman.
Since the establishment of the Department more
lessons and capacity building mechanisms were required. The United States of America
(USA) and Canada have managed to develop and establish sound and more solid
monitoring and evaluation systems. The two countries have a long history in
monitoring and evaluating the performance of their governments. Therefore, the
aim of the study tour was to enable both the Committee and the Department to
learn best practices from these counterparts.
The focus area for the Department in the study tour was on the executive
aspects while the Committee was focused more on the legislative aspects.
The envisaged outcome of the tour was the Committee
obtaining a clear understanding of its role and responsibilities with regard to
the Department and defining a strategic relationship with the Department. Based
on the Committees mandate which includes in-year monitoring of performance and
budget expenditure, the Committee would also be able to understand how it could
utilise the information produced by the Department more effectively. This would
enhance the efficiency of the Committee in its oversight function both to the
Department as well as other Government departments.
The Committee would also be able to learn how
it could execute its responsibilities in terms of its original mandate derived
from the Act without compromising its co-mandate. The lessons would also assist
both the Committee and the Department to improve its coordination and
facilitation of Government outcome monitoring and performance evaluation
process and the better utilisation of think-tank institutions such as Public
Service Commission, Human Science Research Council, Auditor-General of South
Africa, Civil Societies and other interested stakeholders.
Therefore, the report would provide detailed
facts, lessons learnt, findings and recommendations by the Committee on the
The purpose of the study tour was for the Committee
to gain an in-depth understanding of the issues underlying successful monitoring
and evaluation (M&E) systems, and in particular the appropriate role of
Parliament/Congress in effective performance M&E. Some of the learning
How does the overall Performance, Monitoring
& Evaluation (PM&E) system operate, including the relationship between
planning, budgeting and M&E what are the successes and failures and why?
What roles do different organizations play,
how are these coordinated, how have the M&E institutional arrangements
evolved, why and what are the lessons?
What roles are Parliament/Congress playing in
performance M&E? What are the lessons from this experience?
How is the information from performance
M&E fed back into decision-making, planning, budgeting, programming?
Success factors, main obstacles and lessons
learned in the path towards institutionalization of PM&E, including the
role of a legal basis for performance M&E, roles of the executive,
Parliament/Congress, and other independent agencies (eg Auditor-General) in
ensuring a successful system.
The delegation met with the following
institutions in the two countries during the study tour:
States of America:
National Academy for Public Administration (Robert
Shea, Joseph Mitchell, and
Congressional Budget Office (Doug
, and Susan Willie)
House Committee on Oversight and Government
Reform (Majority Staff: Lawrence Brady, Robert Borden, and Adam Fromm)
Urban Institute (Katharine Mark)
World Bank Independent Evaluation Group (
Fernandez Ordonez, Ari
, Arturo Rea, and Maria
World Bank Office of the Executive Director for
South Africa (
Government Accountability Office (Gene
, Nancy Kingsbury, and Katherine
Standing Committee on Government Operations
and Estimates (Mike Wallace, Marc-Olivier Gerard, and
Federal Treasury Board Secretariat, including
Centre for Excellence in Evaluation (David
, and Ms A J
Brian Moo Sang, and
Canadian Evaluation Society, including the
International Programme for Development Evaluation Training (Julia Thompson,
Simon Roy, Eric Champagne, Pierre Martineau, and Martha McGuire)
House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (Bryan
Hayes, and Andrew Saxton)
Ontario Legislative Assembly (Trevor Day,
Anne Stokes, and John Inca Anderson)
Ontario Ministry of Finance and Treasury
The main elements of the study tour included:
An initial meeting in Washington with World
CLEAR/World Bank - an overview of PM&E
systems and some context to how SAs system fits into the wider approaches to
overview of the PM&E system in Canada and a look into some of the issues (Independent
Meeting with US Congress, Congress Budget
Office and Government Accountability Office to understand the roles of these
institutions in PM&E.
Visit to Canada
Meeting with federal governments Treasury
Board Secretariat around the overall approach to performance monitoring and
evaluation, including its Centre for Excellence in Evaluation.
Meeting with Federal Parliamentary Committees
to understand the roles they play in performance M&E, accountability
processes and what agencies report to them in this regard. This included a meeting
with the relevant committee to understand the role they play.
Meeting with the Ontario State Government on
the provinces approach to performance monitoring and evaluation and the
linkages between national and state levels.
States of Americas role in performance monitoring and evaluation
of the State
The United States of America (US) covers 9.1 million
square kilometres which is 8 times the size of South Africa (SA 1.2 million
square kilometres), has a population of 311 million, and a federal system with
50 states. Each state has its own written constitution, government and code of
laws and around 15 per cent of each states of revenue is generated locally. The
President appoints the heads of the federal agencies but Congress approves the
budget. The heads of the 15 departments, chosen by the President and approved
with the "advice and consent" of the U.S. Senate, form a council of
advisers generally known as the President's "Cabinet". The President
appoints the ministers (Secretary) but Congress has to approve the budget.
Congress has an oversight role to prevent waste and fraud, protect civil
liberties and individual rights, ensure executive compliance with the law,
gather information for making laws and educating the public, and evaluate
executive performance. It applies to cabinet departments, executive agencies,
regulatory commissions and the Presidency. Ministers in the US are not Members
Roles of relevant committees - House
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
The delegation visited the House Committee on
Oversight and Government Reform which has jurisdiction over all governmental
activities. The Authorising Committee and the Appropriations Committee also
look at how money is spent. Given the fact that the majority in Congress is not
the same as the party of the President of the US, they do a lot of oversight.
They also focus on policies that the Executive is trying to impose through Executive
The Committee on Oversight and Government
Reform is responsible for oversight and reform of all work of government and
tends to focus on process, to ensure that laws are properly applied. They dont
have legislative jurisdiction. There are 23 Republicans and 17 Democrats in the
Committee which has 7 subcommittees,
Federal workforce, US Postal Service and
Government organisation, efficiency and
Health care, District of Columbia, Census and
the national archives;
National security, homeland defence, and
Regulatory affairs, stimulus oversight and
Troubled Asset Recovery Programme (TARP),
financial services and bailouts of public and private programs; and
Technology, information policy, Inter-governmental
reform and procurement reform
Their focus areas are waste and fraud, regulation
evaluations and policy. Waste and fraud usually made up 5 to 10 per cent of any
budget. The Committee also had close links with the Inspectors-General in the
various agencies and the Government Accountability Office (GAO). With regard to
oversight, the Committee place particular interest in the High Risk Series which
is produced by GAO. The role of the Government Accountability Office will be
explained in the section 2.2.2 hereunder.
The management of the Committee is
responsible for communications, policy, clerks, oversight, and investigations.
They have a staff complement of 78 for the majority party, and 39 for the
minority, which is the standard rule for staffing and financial assets. The tools
for oversight of the Committee include the following:
Subpoena power for documents and testimony
which can be difficult to enforce since cooperation by the executive can be
Building relationships this is key as they
cant prosecute so they try to name and shame. The use of media also helps
with cooperation by agencies.
Investigations these come about in a number
Whistle blowers - Preliminary reviews are
done to see if legitimate. They do not have direct ability to protect whistle
blowers but there is a Whistle Blower Act in place to that effect.
Inspectors-General in agencies have a
critical role and look for fraud, abuse, mismanagement.
Requests for GAO to do detailed investigations.
Chairperson has discretion on what type of
investigations to undertake.
Other Committee Members may also request
Hearings over 100 hearings conducted in
Use internet as a driver to put all agency expenditure
in the public eye.
Communication on the Committees role using
media, internet website, and social media such as YouTube page.
One investigation Fast and Furious had 4
fulltime staff and 3 most of the time, began early last year and took 1.5 years
to complete. The Investigations Unit is closer to a prosecutorial role using
subpoenas and depositions, whereas the oversight is more explanatory. Most
investigations are generated by their staff, but oversight would often rely on
outside research. There are also a number of private sector organisations that
do investigations. A significant project for GAO will often take a year so they
only use them on some investigations. Furthermore, the Congressional Research Service
is used where quicker turnaround is needed on investigations.
The main challenge for the Committee is that
it has no powers to enforce, and in the end the President controls the Cabinet
Secretaries, as it is not a parliamentary system. They do however value the
fact that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and GAO are de-politicised
institutions. When legislation is considered, the Committee will often request
GAO to report progress on a programme. For instance the federal government
spends $80 billion on Information Technology (IT), but many of these systems do
not function well. An effective IT system is important for accountability and
Institutions Supporting Congress and
Accountability Office (GAO)
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is
an arm of Congress that was created in 1921 and is responsible for auditing the
federal government, with 3500 staff. Only 10 to 15 per cent of their work is
financial audit, with most of their work being on performance evaluations/audits.
It is headed by a Controller-General who is appointed for 15 years, providing
considerable stability. They work with 4 main committees and report to the
Appropriations Committees in both houses. The House Oversight Committee and its
equivalent in the Senate provide oversight of GAOs operations.
In terms of evaluation, GAO has a legal
mandate to look at all programmes over a 3 year period but has a limited
mandate around overlapping and duplicated functions. GAO does around 150
surveys a year; they produce 1000 reports per year, and provide around 250
testimonies to federal committees. They are organised by sector and subject
area and the staff work in multidisciplinary teams. They receive about 900
requests a year and have a protocol about how to receive these and prioritise
them, as follows:
Studies in relation to legislation for
instance the requirement to do evaluations after 3 years;
Requests from Committee Chairperson or high
Request from any member of a committee; and
The hotline where any member of public can make
requests but there is no requirement to respond.
Some committee investigations are very
political to support the Chairperson of a Committees agenda and they would not
call on GAO. This is due to the fact that GAO is a depoliticised institution.
GAO also has its own authority to initiate
work. They draw up a strategic plan of issues to follow up on and interact with
Congress. They make around 150 presentations on evaluations and audits. A
request is provided in a letter, which in many cases they have been involved in
crafting. Prior to the 1970s only 20 to 30% were requested by Congress, the
rest were self-initiated.
GAO have no power to enforce the
recommendations it makes to agencies, therefore a lot of thought and effort
would be put into crafting recommendations that are practical and affordable
and foster relationships with federal agencies. As a result around 80% of
recommendations are implemented.
Every two years, GAO provides Congress with
an update on its High-Risk Program, which highlights major problems that are at
high risk for waste, fraud, abuse mismanagement or in need of broad reform.
There are 30 areas on GAO's High-Risk list.
These are highlighted on its website with explanatory notes. They
participate personally in meetings with the heads of agencies around these
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was created
in 1974 and prior to this Congress had no capacity to analyse the budget. CBO
is non-partisan and prepares options but not recommendations on what is good or
not. It has 235 fulltime staff, with a Director appointed by both Houses. All
staff is employed based on professional background and not political
orientation. While CBO looks at potential budget implications, once a programme
is up and running, GAO would audit or look at how it is performing.
All products are vetted by at least 3 people,
to ensure documents are objective. One of
the Appropriation Bills funds Congress and a line item funds the CBO, but does
not go through committees. This gives it some independence. The main activities
of CBO are as follows:
To assist Congress as they develop the
budget. They develop a baseline based on new laws and the way the economy is
expected to change. They also do an analysis of the Presidents budget
proposal. Based on this they produce the budget resolution;
Helping the Congress stay within its budget
plan compares cost estimates of legislative options;
Providing information for enforcement of
budget rules and statutory requirements statutory pay-go tables; and
Helping the Congress when they are
designing/considering legislative proposals.
It is to be noted that CBO does not make
policy recommendations, write legislation, implement programmes, or audit
needs to be able to
understand legislation and also be very good communicators, writing clearly and
documenting assumptions. Cost estimates can be very quick and take a day,
sometimes much longer. When they do a cost estimate they only look at the
budgetary effects, not cost-benefit analysis.
A key feature of the CBO is its non-partisan
and transparent nature. The estimates have the names of the analysts, and are
loaded on the CBO website. A Member or Chairperson of a Committee can make proposals
for CBO to do some analyses which would be kept confidential as long as the
Chairperson did not make it public, where after it would be published by the
CBO. They speak frequently with Office for Management and Budget (OMB) and
budget offices of agencies to get their viewpoint and exchange information
Research Service (CRS)
The Congressional Research Service (CRS)
works exclusively for Congress, providing policy and legal analyses to Committees
and Members of both the House and Senate. CRS provides analyses that are authoritative,
confidential, objective and nonpartisan, with its service being available 24
hours a day, 7 days a week. The CRS tends to provide a quick turnaround of
analyses which is treated as confidential unless the member requests that it is
made public. CRS services come in many forms which are as follows:
reports on major policy issues;
tailored confidential memoranda, briefings
seminars and workshops;
expert congressional testimony; and
responses to individual inquiries
CRS employs about 450 policy analysts,
attorneys and information professionals in a variety of disciplines working in
one of five research divisions. The breadth and depth of this expertise enables
CRS to mobilize quickly, working together in flexible groups to provide
integrated analyses of complex issues facing the Congress. Its work
incorporates program and legislative expertise, quantitative methodologies, and
legal and economic analysis. The
provides research support services to the policy
experts in each of the five divisions. The research divisions are as follows:
Institutions Supporting the Executive
for Management and Budget (OMB) is in the Presidents Office. It oversees the
budget for individual agencies and programmes, including both capital and
recurrent budgets, and is similar to a Finance Ministry, while the Treasury
deals with big fiscal policy questions, and manages federal finances. OMB has a
staff complement of 200 analysts in
overall group a
overall staff compliment of 450, also covering information issues and
regulatory review. Analysts usually have a public policy or social science
background, and analytical skills. Staff are organised by Cabinet department
with 6-10 analysts who oversee a particular department and help the President
to develop the budget. They negotiate backwards and forwards over the budget
and then send a budget request to Congress. Then OMB also advises the President
on how to deal with Congress over the budget. It has a deputy director for
management, who is the Chief Performance Officer of government. OMB also has a
legislative review section which looks at all legislation.
The Treasury Department is the executive
agency responsible for promoting economic prosperity and ensuring the financial
security of the US. The basic functions of the Treasury Department include the
Managing Federal finances, Government
accounts and the public debt, issuing currency and coinage;
Collecting taxes, duties and monies paid to
and due to the country and paying all bills of the U.S.;
Supervising national banks and thrift
Advising on domestic and international
financial, monetary, economic, trade and tax policy;
Enforcing Federal finance and tax laws; and
Investigating and prosecuting tax evaders,
counterfeiters, and forgers.
Each federal agency has an Inspector-General to
perform internal audit created in an Inspector General Act in 1978. This
creates independent and objective units with the following
to conduct and
supervise audits and investigations relating to programs and operations of
leadership and coordination and recommend policies for activities designed (a)
to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the administration of, and
(b) to prevent and detect fraud and abuse in, such programs and operations; and
provide the means for keeping
the head of the establishment and the Congress fully and currently informed
about problems and deficiencies relating to the administration of such programs
and operations and the necessity for and progress of corrective action.
The Inspectors-General are appointed by the
President, and around half of these have an evaluation function. In some cases
evaluation is in the strategic planning office and in some cases in the budget
office. Performance measurement is usually in finance. There are about 70-80
Inspectors-General across the federal government. They send reports to the
Agency head but send copies to Congress. They have a government-wide
organisation they belong to, and there is some common planning and training.
Evolution of the legal basis for PM&E
Prior to 1993 the US had little law in
relation to programme planning and budget, and performance assessment. The Government
Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) required strategic plans and annual
performance reports, as well as indicators. However this became a compliance
exercise and these plans were not closely tied to programmes. After the passing
of the GPRA, departments did not do anything in terms of evaluations for 5
In July of 2002, the OMB announced the development
of a tool for formally evaluating the effectiveness of federal programs, called
the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART). At the end of 2010 Congress passed
the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act (GPRMA). The Act is
very specific about a range of issues on performance management and aims to:
encourage greater use of performance information by encouraging agencies to demonstrate
leadership commitment; align individual, programmes and agency goals; improve
the usefulness of performance information; build analytical capacity to analyse
and use performance information; and communicate performance information
frequently and effectively. In terms of the results of non-compliance, the
GPRMA states that if the agency doesnt meet the goals in year 1 they have to
indicate how to address this, in year 2 they have to do a report, in year 3
there is an automatic 10 per cent budget cut across the board. This could however
have an impact on services delivered but the threat of a budget cut is regarded
Agencies report on how they have achieved
outcomes, how far the data is valid, and the agency has to attest to the validity
of the data. However, this does not mean that they could show attribution of
impacts, and so the emphasis has shifted to independent evaluation. Recently
there is much more emphasis on transparency which requires better IT systems.
Congress has a developing interest in this regard.
In 2012 the Data Act was passed, which
requires recipient reporting, eg contractors, to bring in transparency. The Act
establishes a new Federal Accountability and Spending Transparency Commission.
The Data Act requires reporting on all tiers of sub-awards and includes a
reporting threshold of $100,000. This Act will cut Federal agency spending on
conferences by 20% from their 2010 levels, cap spending on individual
conferences at $500,000 and limit the number of attendees to international
meetings to 50.
With regard to planning, a major weakness is
that there is no requirement for a government-wide plan. Instead, the
Presidents budget was viewed as the plan. The law required that stakeholders
and Congress be involved, but this has been ignored. However the GPR
Modernisation Act is specific that government has to define priority goals
within one year of a new administration.
Programmes are not necessarily well defined,
as to get programmes approved many constituents and goals have to be satisfied,
and so programmes are often not very specific. In terms of monitoring, much
data is collected but not used effectively, eg the Education Department
collects data on over a thousand indicators, much of which is not used.
The President proposes a budget but Congress
actually makes the decision on how much is spent, and can override the
Presidents proposal. The President can veto this but Congress can override
such a veto. If the President and Congress fail to reach a consensus, then a
continuing resolution can be adopted to hold spending at the same rate as the
previous year, which can happen for 6 months. In practice this means that
discretionary payments would shut down.
Agencies submit their budgets as well as
performance targets to OMB in September, and between September and February
they debate the final numbers. In February OMB submits the Presidents budget
request to Congress and sets the terms of the Budget debate. The proposals also
set out what total spending and revenues will be should the plan be followed as
is. Congress takes that information and a baseline is done by CBO and through a
budget resolution an overall budget is given per committee, which may differ
markedly from the Presidents proposal. Then the 13 committees allocate funds
to all the accounts under their jurisdiction through annual Appropriation Bills.
The Budget Committees then pass the top line numbers that the Appropriations
Committee then allocates to each Agency. So the federal budget is not one
document but is a combination of budget resolutions and Appropriation Bills.
In 1995 a law was passed called the Unfunded
Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) to avoid imposing unfunded federal mandates on
state, local, and tribal governments (SLTG), or the private sector. Most of
UMRA's provisions apply to a Federal mandate that may result in the expenditure
of funds by SLTGs, in the aggregate, or by the private sector for $100 million
or more in any one year. If a rule meets these conditions, the agency must:
Prepare a written
statement that includes:
the legal authority for the rule,
a cost-benefit assessment,
a description of the macro-economic effects, and
SLTG concerns and how they were addressed.
reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and select the least costly, least
burdensome or most cost-effective option that achieves the objectives of the
rule, or explain why the agency did not make such a choice.
The federal budget of the US was around $3.6
trillion in 2012, of which 60% was mandatory based on underlying laws, and
therefore does not have to be authorised each year. 40% of the budget was
discretionary and had to be appropriated each year. 19% is defence
discretionary, 19% is non-defence discretionary (agriculture, natural resource,
transport etc) and 6% is interest payments. The deficit for 2012 was reported
to be $1.1 trillion.
Monitoring and Evaluation
In terms of monitoring, more focus is placed
on expenditure figures in the performance measurement of programmes. The GPRA
requires strategic plans and annual performance reports, as well as indicators.
GAO did a survey in 1997 and 2007 on the use of information for decision-making
but didnt find much change. This led to some of the changes in the GPRMA. The
GPRMA underlines the reporting and also asks for cross-cutting goals at the
beginning of each new administration.
In terms of incentives and consequences,
there is a lot of freedom around evaluation, and if departments undertake
evaluations, then funding requests are looked on more favourably. If they have
not met performance measures, what works is congressional oversight since
people do not want to be publicly interrogated on why they did not meet targets.
This is used by Congress to incentivise departments to perform. OMB is tuned to
agency performance and when they review the budget they do use evaluation
information. The budget is however not directly linked to the evaluation information
due to the long term (2 year) budget preparation cycle. In respect of coordination,
it is to be noted that the system is very decentralised, so there is a lot of
variability in how M&E is done and how the information is used.
The Role of the World Bank in Performance Monitoring
The World Bank has different components
relevant to PM&E which will be described in the following sections.
The Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) is
charged with evaluating the activities of the World Bank. The Director-General
of IEG reports directly to the World Bank Group's Board of Directors. The goals
of evaluation are to provide an objective assessment of the results of the World
Banks work and to identify and disseminate lessons learned from experience.
IEG also has a capacity building role, including producing knowledge products.
They house the secretariat for the CLEAR Initiative, a multi-donor initiative
supporting M&E, and in SA this is based at the University of the
Witwatersrand. The Operations Policy and Country Services (OPCS) group does the
tracking of projects, and sends the information to IEG for use in evaluations.
The Poverty Reduction and Economic Management
Group in the World Bank also has a section focusing on M&E. DPME has worked
with this group in the past.
The Development Impact Evaluation Initiative
(DIME) was created in 2005 with the objective of generating knowledge on
selected policies. In 2004, the World Bank only had 28 active impact
evaluations. By 2008, that number had grown seven-fold. Through the Africa
Impact Evaluation Initiative (AIM), the Africa Region's impact evaluation portfolio
grew 40 times over so today it represents 43 percent of active impact
evaluations. DIME has three objectives, which are as follows:
To improve the quality of operations through
iterative learning. DIME works to integrate the Bank's operational and
analytical functions to incorporate evidence, empirically test the
effectiveness of policy alternatives, scale up best-performing policies, and
improve the effectiveness of programs during implementation.
To strengthen client institutions for
evidence-based policy making. DIME builds in-country capacity to understand and
use impact evaluation to inform policy and operational decisions. Modalities
include training, networking, and learning-by-doing via joint Bank-government
To generate knowledge on critical development
questions. DIME seeks to secure the validity of learning for the country in which
it operates by working with government programs at scale and in the prevailing
institutional environment. By working programmatically across many countries
and institutional settings, DIME also works to extract broader lessons of
Observations in respect of the US:
States of America has managed to build and consolidate strong institutions to
support Congress to evaluate and monitor government programmes. However, it can
be stated that even though they have such strong institutions (i.e. the number
of Committee support staff, Congressional Budget Office, Government Accountability
Office, Congressional Research Services, and Inspectors-General in Agencies)
they have no power to enforce agencies to implement their recommendations.
Committees make use of the media as an incentive to highlight any poor
performance of agencies, therefore encouraging agencies to ensure that their
performance is of an acceptable standard.
There is a
coordinated approach to evaluate the performance of programmes in the US, i.e.
GAO, CBO, Congressional Research Service, and Inspectors-General have an
integrated approach and they share performance information.
produces a High Risk Series on a bi-annual basis which highlights all the major
problems that are a high risk for waste, fraud, mismanagement or in need of
broad reform. This is used by the Committees for improved oversight of
proposals as introduced by the US President fundamentally can be amended or
rejected by Congress.
Bank plays an important role in supporting M&E implementation system across
democracies. An offer was made by the World Bank to build the capacity of the
Parliament of the Republic of South Africa on PM&E and how best Government
systems could be co-ordinated.
Parliamentary Committees can request that performance audits be done whereas in
SA, AGSA usually initiates performance audits. The GAO focuses more on
performance audits whilst AGSA focuses more on financial audits.
role in performance monitoring and evaluation
Canada is a large country of 9 million square
kilometres which is similar in size to the United States of America (US), but
with a relatively small population of 35 million people. It has a decentralised
government with services being delivered across the country. The large and
multilayered government system poses unique challenges for monitoring and
reporting, which are as follows:
decentralised federation 10 provinces, 3 territories;
of federal-provincial agreements and federal programming; and
municipal governments, which are in effect subdivisions of the province, and
for whom laws were exclusively made by provinces.
There is only one Constitution under which
the federal government is allocated some powers and the rest are by default
with provinces. For example education, health care, welfare, local works are provincial
responsibilities; immigration, agriculture and pensions are joint
responsibilities between the federal and provincial; while security, taxation,
criminal law, and first nations, are federal responsibilities.
The governing party at the time of the study
tour was the Conservative Party, with the official opposition being the New
Democratic Party. The Cabinet comprised of f
ministers chosen by the Prime Minister usually from among the members of his
own party in Parliament.
Federal government comprised of over 148
government organisations, departments and agencies and crown corporations. At
the time of the study tour, over 300 000 core federal public servants were
employed in over 1600 points of service across Canada. There were over 2000
The highest court is the Supreme Court of Canada,
where legislation that is introduced by the Federal Government can be
challenged. At times, federal government would be given one year to rectify any
legislation that has been challenged successfully. The Canadian Government also
seeks opinions from the Supreme Court of Canada on legislation which it
intended to introduce.
The provinces are recognized under the
(and its principle of
as being constitutionally autonomous. In other words, they are granted constitutional
powers that cannot be altered unilaterally by other levels of government, such
as the federal government. With this in mind, the provinces are significantly
different from territories, the other type of regional governments in Canada.
Canada has three territories: the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, and Nunavut.
Whereas the provinces are constitutionally autonomous, the territories are
constitutionally subordinate to the federal government. Hence the federal
government has the power to create territories, as well as to decide what
powers and jurisdictions those territories would enjoy.
While the Constitution forbids federal and
provincial governments from passing laws in areas that were under the others
exclusive jurisdiction, it did not prohibit them from spending money in those
areas. The federal government has actively used its spending power to influence
provincial policies and programs, particularly in the areas of health care and
social services. In the case of health care, for example, the federal
government would transfer billions of dollars annually to the provinces in
order to support their public health systems. Moreover, the federal government
would place important conditions on the provinces in order to receive this
money, which was stipulated in the Canada Health Act. If a province failed to
meet the stipulated conditions, then federal government would withhold portions
of its federal transfers. In this way, the federal government could indirectly
influence provincial policies in areas that fell outside federal jurisdiction. With
regard to provincial revenue, approximately 83 percent resulted from
provincial/territorial governments own sources of revenue, while 17 percent
was in the form of transfers from other government subsectors and the federal
Local government was completely dependent on
provinces, so effectively there were two levels of government, and the
structures differ from province to province. Local governments received a
significant portion of revenue from local taxes. Therefore, a federal
department would find it extremely difficult to keep itself abreast of
activities at a local governmental level.
Roles of relevant committees to the Standing
Committee on Appropriations
The Prime Minister chooses the Cabinet from
the Members of Parliament. There are two Houses, i.e. House of Commons and the
There were around 27 committees which were
mostly based on sectors, i.e. health sector. There were a total of 308 members
of Parliament at the time of the study tour. The Committees consisted of 12
members, currently 1 Liberal Party, 4 New Democratic Party and the rest
Conservative, and this matched the composition of the House of Commons (the
House). The legislation was viewed as the top priority activity of committees
and their core role was to review legislation after the first reading in the
House. Debates would normally occur during the second reading in the House. The
third reading was usually seen as the approval of legislation in principle
since there was often a reluctance to change the proposed legislation after
There are three main House committees in
Canada that are relevant to the Standing Committee of Appropriations in South
Africa. The Committees are as follows:
The Standing Committee on Government
Operations and Estimates which looks at government operations (current
The Public Accounts Committee looks at audit
The Finance Committee consults widely in the
country and makes suggestions for what should be in the budget. This is
discussed in more detail under the budget section.
The above Committees will be discussed in
more detail hereunder.
Committee on Government Operations and Estimates
The core of the committees work is
government operations (current spending). The Committees mandate includes
primarily the study of:
the effectiveness of government operations;
expenditure plans of central departments and
agencies, commissions, selected Crown corporations
new and emerging information and
communications technologies (ICTs) in the government; and
tax expenditures, loan guarantees, contingency funds and private foundations
deriving the majority of their funding from the Government of Canada.
This Committee is responsible for the budgets
of the Treasury Board, Public Works and other departments. However the Treasury
Board reports directly to Cabinet. They have no relationship with Public
Accounts Committee, which deals with audit. This committee meets twice a week
for 2 hours, and does a lot of investigations.
Of interest is the fact that Committees in the
Canadian Parliament rarely make changes to legislation, as this would be deemed
as admitting that government has made a mistake. In some cases legislation will
be referred before the House for the second reading, when it is easier to
change it. Nevertheless the committees still provide oversight as they can
highlight what is good, or not in legislation. Of further importance is the
fact that if committees do not scrutinise the budgets of Ministries, then those
budgets would be deemed as accepted. The budget is technically viewed as a
policy document which does not indicate how allocations would be spent but
focuses on the areas where it will be spent. The Main Estimates which is normally
a very comprehensive document will include all the relevant information on how
funding would be spent. Deputy Ministers are viewed as the Accounting Officers
(Directors-General) and are often invited to brief the Committees. The
Ministers would only brief Committees when they were presenting the budgets for
their respective Departments.
on Public Accounts
The core mandate of the Standing Committee on
Public Accounts is to review and report on the following:
the Public Accounts of Canada;
all reports of the Auditor-General of Canada;
the Auditor-Generals Reports on Plans and Priorities and Annual Performance
The Committee was chaired by a member of the
opposition, New Democratic Party and the Chairperson only voted on a matter in
the event of a tie. The Auditor-General of Canada (AG) presents two reports
annually (in spring and fall) to the Public Accounts Committee. The tabling of
reports by the Auditor-General was normally met with widespread media coverage.
The AG reports would be interrogated by the Committee and witnesses would be
called to substantiate the findings contained in the said reports.
The Committee looks at the expenditure trends
of government through the AG report. The AG is an independent body which reports
to Parliament of Canada. There is no Standing Committee on Auditor-General
which ensures that AG executes its duties in line with the mandate. In terms of
ensuring AGs independency, Peer Reviews are requested by it through the AG
from other countries.
Institutions supporting Parliament
Canada has a Budget Office which serves
Parliament and provides independent analyses on the state of the nation's
finances, the government's estimates and trends in the Canadian economy. The
Budget Office may upon request from a committee or parliamentarian, provide estimates
on the financial cost of any proposal for matters over which Parliament had
jurisdiction. It has a staff compliment of 14 and a budget of C$2.8 million
(about R22 million) per annum. The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) also acts
as a witness during the proceedings of Committee hearings with the government
departments. The PBO provides support to capacitate Members of Parliament in
order to engage with the budget more effectively.
the Auditor General (OAG)
The Office of the Auditor-General (OAG)
audits federal government operations and provides Parliament with independent
information, advice, and assurance regarding the federal governments stewardship
of public funds. While the OAG may comment on policy implementation in an
audit, it does not comment on the merits of the policy itself. They also
conduct legislative audits, performance audits of federal departments and
agencies, annual financial audits of the governments financial statements, and
special examinations and annual financial audits of Crown corporations, and the
governments of the Territories. Since 1995, the Office had a specific
environmental and sustainable development mandate, established through
amendments to the Auditor-General Act. The audit findings which include good
practices, areas requiring attention, and recommendations for improvement are
reported to Parliament. The Auditor-General typically submits three reports on
performance audits to the House of Commons every year: an annual report in the
fall; a spring report; and a status report, which follows up on progress made
by the government in responding to recommendations contained in previous
of the PM&E system
Table 1 below shows the evolution of the PM&E
system in Canada. Unlike the US, Canadas performance system is not based on a
legal system for compulsion. The expenditure management system was designed 15
years ago to fight budget deficits and control new spending. In the late 1990s
budget surpluses led to new spending without an anchor to discipline spending.
There were ad-hoc exercises to control spending with no real focus on
performance, while in the 2000s Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and
the US were moving towards focusing on outcomes. The budget of 2006 and 2007
committed the government to a new ongoing approach to managing overall
spending, and the Expenditure Management System Renewal was approved in June 2007.
The government wants to deliver high quality services and high value programmes
at a reasonable cost.
: Chronology of development
of M&E in Canada
Transfer Payment Policy
Performance frameworks/evaluations reviewed by
Investment in management practices and controls
Management, Resources and Results Structures
Regaining detailed programme level knowledge
Improved reporting to Parliament
Moving to whole of government planning and
Renewed policy on evaluation
Quality, capacity, credibility and expansion of
Management Accountability Framework
Assessing management performance across
Expenditure management system renewal
Management excellence and fiscal credibility
Federal Accountability Act 2006
Cyclical evaluation of all transfer payment
A common approach to collection, management
and reporting of performance information has been developed in the Policy on
Management, Resources and Results Structures. This Policy provides detailed
information on all programmes in a consistent way, links resources and results,
and has been implemented across government. The Management, Resources and
Results Structures (MRRS) system has information on departmental programmes,
costs, how programmes align with governments priorities and intended outcomes,
expected results, targets.
Canadas Planning System
There is a Whole of Government Framework for
governments action. The purpose of this framework is to map the financial and
non-financial contributions of federal organizations receiving appropriations
by aligning their program activities to a set of high level outcome areas
defined for the government as a whole.
on Management, Resources and Results Structures (MRRS) provides the Programme
Alignment Architecture (PAA) with Strategic outcomes/programs/sub-programs/sub-sub
programmes and a common government-wide approach to the collection, management
and reporting of financial and non-financial performance information.
Departmental annual plans (Reports on Plans
and Priorities - RPP) are based on the PAA and there are targets for the
different levels of the architecture, while the expenditure is at two levels. Departments
are obliged to be clear on the priorities, linking to the government
priorities, and show how the PAA lines up with those priorities. Departments
develop a Performance Strategy Framework linked to the PAA which links planned
financial allocations, expected results performance indicators, targets and
actual financial and non-financial results for each budget programme. This
structure is used for reporting to Parliament, and MPs find this helpful in
fulfilling their oversight role.
Every programme is a result of a Cabinet
decision which then gets to TBS (Treasury Board Secretariat) for approval.
Parliamentary scrutiny is on the Reports on Plans and Priorities and is
essentially to approve the appropriations.
The main budget document, which is tabled in spring,
is technically a policy document rather than a financial document, the full
financial information is provided in the Estimates. The main spending estimates
are called the Main Estimates, which go through different versions. The
estimates are produced in autumn and reflect the budget. The Report on Plans
and Priorities document for each Ministry is produced in March usually a few
weeks after the main estimates and has the budget broken down in more detail.
There is no standardisation on the Plans and Priorities. In autumn there is a
document on what has been accomplished by departments, however, most MPs don
not pay much attention to these reports.
The important dates in respect of the budget are
Beginning of Financial year
Tabling of supplementary estimates (A)
Introduction of Main Estimates
Tabling of Public Accounts
Departmental performance reports
Tabling of Supplementary Estimates (B)
Tabling of Supplementary Estimates (C)
Tabling of Main Estimates
Departmental Reports on Plans and Priorities
The Standing Committee on Finance is
authorized to consider and make reports upon proposals regarding the budgetary
policy of the government. The Finance Committee consults widely in the
country and makes suggestions for what needs to be in the budget. Reports may
be made no later than the tenth sitting day before the last normal sitting day
in December, as set forth in Standing Order 28(2). The review of budgetary
policy is called the Committees pre-budget consultations.
It should be noted that at provincial level (e.g.
Ontario) there is a mechanism for monitoring expenditure on an ongoing basis,
key players at national level in the Planning, Budgeting and PM&E system
Privy Council Office (PCO)
The Privy Council Office (PCO) is the Prime
Ministers department and acts as advisor to the Prime Minister, secretary to
Cabinet, and provides leadership for the public service. The
of the PCO covers
Advisor to the Prime Minister - policy advice
and information to support the Prime Minister and Cabinet. This includes
non-partisan advice and information from across the Public Service,
consultation and collaboration with international and domestic sources inside
and outside government (including the provinces and territories) and
information on the priorities of Canadians.
Secretary to the Cabinet - this includes:
Management of the Cabinet's decision-making
system, scheduling and support services for meetings of Cabinet and Cabinet
Coordination of departmental policy proposals
to Cabinet (with supporting policy analysis);
Advancing the Government's agenda across
federal departments and agencies and with external stakeholders;
Advice on government structure and
Preparation of Orders-in-Council and other
statutory instruments to give effect to Government decisions;
Administrative services to the Prime
Minister's Office, PCO Ministers and, in some cases, to Commissions of Inquiry.
Public Service Leadership - management of the
appointments process for senior positions in federal departments, Crown
corporations and agencies, setting policy on human resources issues and public
service renewal, drafting and submitting an annual report on the state of the
Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS)
The Treasury Board Secretary (TBS) is tasked
with providing advice and support to Treasury Board Ministers in their role of
ensuring value-for-money as well as providing oversight of the financial
management functions in departments and agencies. The Secretariat makes
recommendations and provides advice to the Treasury Board on policies,
directives, regulations, and program expenditure proposals with respect to the
management of the government's resources. Its responsibilities for the general
management of the government affect initiatives, issues, and activities that
cut across all policy sectors managed by
and organizational entities
(as reported in the
). The Secretariat is also responsible for the financial
management function of government. The Secretariat supports the
in its role as the general manager and employer of the public
The role of TBS includes improving the evidence
based analyses on programmes, the expenditure management system, and
evaluation, since as far back as the 1970s. Their expenditure management system
includes the following:
Employer of the public service;
Evaluation and results-based management; and
Managing spending reviews.
TBS supports the Treasury Board in
effectively allocating spending in a manner that ensures operational efficiency
and effectiveness by:
Establishing and monitoring adherence to Treasury
Board management policies (financial and non-financial);
Supporting Treasury Board approval of
detailed operational plans and recommendation of resources operations for new
Supporting Treasury Board determination of
resource needs/investment opportunities for existing programs.
The Expenditure Management System is
supported by 3 pillars:
Existing spending managed to transparent
results/outcomes with clear measures for performance, and demonstrated value
Up-front discipline on new spending proposal
clear measures of success in cabinet memos, link to programme architecture;
Strategic reviews assessing existing spending
to ensure alignment with priorities, decision-making using objective
Centre for Excellence in Evaluation (CEE) of the TBS
standards and provides outreach support around evaluations. TBS analyses over
70% of evaluations done and make assessments of the quality. They also assess
the TBS submissions to see the use of evaluation results, and to see that it is
being used objectively.
Each department prepares an annual performance plan called a Report on
Plans and Policies (RPP), quarterly financial reports, and an annual Departmental
Performance Report (DPR). Performance management is the responsibility of
programme managers. Evaluation is also the responsibility of departments, who
budget for evaluations, have evaluation units, and in most cases do the
evaluations internally. They also have a Departmental Evaluation Plan - a five
year rolling plan of evaluations, developed by the Head of Evaluation and
advised by a Departmental Evaluation Committee which is submitted to TBS.
Finance Department (Finance Canada)
Finance Canada ensures aggregate fiscal
discipline is maintained by establishing the fiscal framework and determining
overall spending levels and budget. It develops policies and provides advice to
the Government with the goal of creating a healthy economy. Its responsibilities
include the following:
Plans and prepares the federal governments
Analyzes and designs tax policies;
Develops regulations for Canadas banks and
other financial institutions;
Administers the transfer of federal funds to
the provinces and territories;
Develops policies on international finance
and helps design the countrys tariff policies; and
Monitors economic and financial developments
in Canada and provides policy advice on a wide range of economic issues.
The types of monitoring undertaken and the
Monitoring is done by departments and
federally there is only a requirement to report annually in the Departmental
Performance Report (DPR). The DPR follows a very similar structure to the
Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP), using the PAA as a basis. In the DPR the
tables now reflect actual performance. It is high level annual reporting at
output level where in many cases one wouldnt see significant changes over a
quarter. Quarterly performance monitoring is internal to the departments.
There are quarterly financial reports which
have a lag of 3 months. There is a real time system, but there are old legacy
systems that need to be integrated. However government often wants to see the
reports before they are made public resulting in a challenge of ensuring transparency.
The Management Accountability Framework (MAF)
covers management performance assessment of 97 departments. They give rewards
if departments dont keep changing programmes so that it is easier to see
historical trends and can project forward, ideally 3 years historically and 3
years forward. This has been a specific request of Parliamentarians.
TBS found that linking performance
information to reporting was helpful but linking it to decision-making in the
budget process has been critical. They do not wait for perfection and so have
to do outreach working with departments who are often wary of how TBS will
use the information, and whether it will be used against them.
In addition to departmental reporting, Canada
also produces a whole of government report on performance called Canadas
Performance: The Year in Review. This aims to provide a snapshot of the
governments contribution to the prosperity and well-being of Canadians in the
year in question.
Around 150 evaluations are undertaken per
year, but this is decentralised with each department responsible for
establishing its own evaluation function. The evaluation policy which was
adopted 20 years ago stated that all programmes should be evaluated. This was
subsequently changed to high risk programmes, especially those involving transfers.
The 2009 Evaluation Policy changed this slightly to cover all areas of
expenditure within 5 years. Evaluations can be of programmes (as defined in the
PAA), groups of programmes, or a component of a programme. Sometimes they need
to do evaluations at sub-sub programme level; sometimes they need to group them
to see the linkages between them. If they are grouped there can be problems in that
they do not get sufficient detail (granularity). This however requires a lot of
resources and has significant cost implications and is more demanding for
larger departments. It should be noted that 67 organisations only account for
2% of national spending hence the focus is on the larger departments. No additional
resources have been added for this more comprehensive approach and this leads
to superficial evaluation outcomes. Only 10 per cent of total programme
expenditure is normally evaluated. In terms of budgeting for evaluation, there
is no specified percentage of total programme expenditure that has to be allocated
Programmes are renewed every 3-5 years and
the timing of evaluations is often too late to feed in to decisions as
evaluations typically take 1 year to produce. So evaluators are often being
asked for interim reports at programme renewal stage, and are even changing the
way findings are being presented. TBS will ask if departments have taken into
account evaluation recommendations in the budget submissions.
CEE has 12 to 14 employees who do
guidance and capacity development to ensure
quality evaluation is being done. They are establishing standards for
evaluation. The 2009 Policy on Evaluation indicates that departments must
Value for money;
Clarify requirements and responsibilities for
Establish required competencies of heads of
Enhanced standards to support quality
improvement and use; and
Strengthened governance and neutrality.
In terms of the implementation of evaluations,
the following are 3 scenarios exist:
Internal evaluators who do evaluations for
their organisation. This started in the 1960s and 70s. The challenge is
adapting to highs and lows in demand, lack of specialist skills, and HR
management can be difficult if teams are small. A challenge is independence but
internal evaluators are given a degree of independence a key to independence
is that they have job security.
Internal evaluation managers who use
consultants. The advantage of this is in terms of flexibility. The challenge is
finding the right consultant and managing external resources and there is a
danger of not developing internal capacity.
Hybrid team which has an internal evaluator
working with the external evaluator. The advantage is flexibility and knowledge
transfer to internal evaluators and this can be part of a training strategy.
Challenges can be conflicts between internal and external evaluators if the
respective roles and responsibilities are not clear upfront. It can also be
costly because of an overlap of responsibilities. A coordination function may
well be needed and this may require additional personnel. There can be
conflicts, eg when the internal evaluator does not contribute as expected. Also
the hierarchy can be unclear, and sometimes junior internal evaluators pull
rank on experienced external evaluators.
In practice most evaluations are led by
internal evaluators, but in some the internal is an evaluation manager with the
work undertaken by contractors. Issues emerging include ethical issues, role
conflicts, training challenges, and meeting the scale of evaluation demand with
the limited resources available.
Participatory evaluation models are not traditionally
widely used but there are times when representatives from the community are
part of the Steering Committees. It is important for community groups to have
access to the results of evaluation as government is transferring resources to
non-profit organisations and community groups, as they are close to the people
and cheaper. Community groups dont have much capacity to evaluate and need
training in that regard. The Urban Institute was of the view that surveys of
citizens are essential as a source of data to performance information.
The incentives for ensuring that the lessons
of M&E are implemented
not a litigious society and they do not use legislation in a similar way to the
US as they do not need legislation for results-based management to promote
compliance. Their view is that the need for legislation must be judged in each
environment. If it is difficult to drive results-based management (RBM), it is
not necessarily made easier with legislation. So peer pressure is the main
incentive, not legislation.
incentives that have emerged include:
When departments saw that if they had good
evidence this helped them in their spending reviews. The use of the same
programme architecture strengthened the demand for evaluation;
In the MAF points were given that if
departments showed they have used evidence for decision-making; and
There are informal consequences, for instance with
spending reviews where departments dont have adequate data to support
programmes, delegated authorities could be removed.
Coordination of M&E
Federal and provincial government have separate M&E systems. It is
impossible for federal government to know what is happening at provincial and
municipal level. TBS is the clear leader of the federal system, although
M&E is carried out by departments. There is some cross-level coordination
for instance Ministries across provinces do meet around specific areas,
typically around areas of transfers.
Role of provincial (State) parliaments and
portfolio committees - example of Ontario
Members of Provincial Parliaments are
referred to as MPPs. There are 107 seats in the Ontario House of Commons (the
House), of which 1 is the speaker. The governing Liberal Party has 52 seats,
second is the Progressive Conservatives with 36 seats, and the New Democratic
Party has 18. Often the federal government is of one party, while the
provincial governing party is different. Federal government can have national
priorities which dont necessarily align with the provincial priorities. Those
responsible for federal-provincial relations have to find a means to align the
priorities but there is often conflict. For instance around pipelines which
cross several provinces in Canada. Federal government does not necessarily
trump provincial government with regard to what the priorities should be.
Committees comprise of Members in the same
proportion as in the House. These Committees concentrate more on legislation,
rather than oversight. However by questioning they provide the opportunity for
public and media to scrutinise what is happening in provincial government.
Parliament and its committees are supreme,
but where the governing party is in a majority it is not necessarily given the
same level of scrutiny.
there is a minority government in Ontario with 3 parties represented in the
House. This has changed the dynamics considerably, as Committees are not
following the governing party line, and government cannot control what happens,
so Committees have much more oversight power. In addition to discussing
provincial budgets and programmes, Committees of the provincial legislature do
discuss federal transfers.
Provincial parliamentary Committees similar
to the Standing Committee on Appropriations
There are 3 financial standing committees,
i.e. Finance and Economic Affairs, Estimates, and Public Accounts.
important role for the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs is
pre-budget consultation. People make presentations to the committee for
funding. In many cases there is a majority opinion, and dissenting opinions
from the minority parties. The theory is that government will adjust the budget
based on this consultation. In practice the committee does not have enough time
to alter the budget. In practice one of the members is from Finance, and so can
feed in the findings and views into the budget process. The Minister of Finance
also has its own pre-budget consultations around the province.
Once the estimates are presented in the House
it is referred to the Standing Committee on Estimates,
which goes through the requests from each Ministry, line by line.
Typically 6-12 ministries are brought in for detailed hearings with the
Minister and Ministry staff. When there was a majority government this was more
of a technicality but with a minority government there is higher level of
scrutiny. The preparation for committees is where the work happens and as they
do not know which ministries will be picked, all have to prepare a budget
booklet in preparation for possibly being called to committee.
Each party is allowed to pick 1 to 2
ministries to focus on for a total of 15 hours, followed by a second round of
hearings. The government tends to pick smaller obscure ministries. Afterwards
they vote per vote normally it is always passed, with the point being the
questioning. The Committee has to report by the 3
November, and they meet 6 hours a week. Finally there is a concurrent vote in
the House to say do they agree with the Committee. A Supply Act is then passed
which gives authority to spend. By then often spending has already begun.
Committee on Public Accounts
at how the money was spent after the fact and has to be chaired by an
opposition party member. They can ask the Auditor-General (AG) to do a value
for money audits however this requires a vote and was not popular with the
majority party. In the past this was used to embarrass the government and would
be voted down. Furthermore, past proposals around legislation could not be
passed, so proposals were made to get media coverage.
The Federal Government indicated that
legislation needed to be introduced at the provincial level for greater
accountability and transparency and would be able to demand this through
legislation and not tradition. Hence, there is no formalised performance
monitoring and evaluation at a provincial level in Canada. There is also no
Parliamentary Budget Office at the provincial level and the AG was given
additional responsibility to give the formal state of the provincial economy,
both before and after an election.
Observations in respect of Canada:
With regard to Canada, the Treasury Board
Secretariat (TBS) seems to be the most powerful institution for PM&E since
it prescribes the Performance Measurement Framework (PMF) and the Programme
Alignment Architecture (PAA).
Canadas Parliamentary Budget Office is not
sufficiently capacitated like their American counterpart; as a result more
focus is given to the Auditor-Generals work.
The Treasury Board in Canada performs the
combined functions of which are separated in other democracies, such as Public
Service and Administration, National Treasury and Performance Monitoring and
Evaluation in South Africa.
The Programme Alignment Architect (PAA)
assists Members of Parliament to increase their understanding of Government
programmes hence it improves the Committee oversight function. There is however
no requirement in provinces for departments to develop PAAs since they have
their own jurisdiction over the matter as per the provisions of the Canadian
There is a lack of integration between the
Federal and Provincial PM&E Units in Canada as these institutions are not
aligned. The provinces usually conduct their own M&E of programmes even in
cases of transfers and subsidies from the Federal Departments.
The programmes are evaluated on a five year
basis in Canada to assess whether the desired impact or outcome was reached.
There are monitoring systems in place during that five year period that are
used to measure the outputs or performance of programmes in the short and
medium term period (quarterly and annually).
There is a lack of the alignment of programme
planning and resources in Canadian Departments which makes it difficult to
measure performance against the resources used.
The Canadian Parliament utilises information
published by the Auditor-General, unlike the US which uses Government Accountability
There is no Standing Committee on
Auditor-General in Canada which ensures that AG executes its duties in line
with the mandate.
Federal government can have national
priorities which do not necessarily align with the provincial priorities. Those
responsible for federal-provincial relations have to find a means to align the
priorities but there is often tension.
The participatory evaluation models are not
widely used but there are instances when representatives from the community are
part of the Steering Committees. The surveys of citizens are however an
essential source of data with regard to performance information.
for the South African context
There is a need for alignment of
non-financial data of performance with funding in South Africa.
There is a need for the development of a
comprehensive integrated and regulated programme for PM&E across the three
spheres of Government in South Africa.
Citizen based monitoring should be
strengthened to enhance alignment of what departments report in terms of
performance and what citizens are experiencing at a grass roots level.
There is a need to strengthen cooperation
between government departments in respect of results-based planning. Mechanisms
including legislation should be investigated to achieve this.
Surveys of citizens in the evaluation process
are important data that needs to be included in performance information as this
would clearly indicate whether there is value for money in programmes of
Government. This in turn would be an indicator whether for Government to
terminate or to continue with a specific programme.
There is a need for the DPME to reduce its
turn-around time on the submission of performance reports to Parliament as
these are critical in the latters oversight role.
Report to be considered.
No related documents