SAPM-E Arbab chairs PMS meeting

By Staff Reporter
Tuesday – May 19, 2020
ISLAMABAD: A set of high-powered meetings were held, Monday, under the chairmanship of the special assistant to the prime minister on establishment (SAPM-E) Mohammad Shehzad Arbab, along with a peer review committee to evaluate progress, for the third quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2019-20, based on agreed goals and targets.

According to an official statement, the cabinet has embarked on setting a new benchmark of performance management, as prime minister (PM) Imran Khan entered into performance agreements with 11 ministers earlier this year to conduct a pilot until June 2020 before scaling across the federal government.

The participant ministries being reviewed in the pilot phase are communication, housing and works, power division, water resources, industries and production, federal education and professional training, climate change, national food security and research, health, commerce and petroleum division.

The spirit behind these agreements is to help ministries undertake a forward planning exercise by identifying high impact initiatives, with clear targets and timelines.

The performance agreements are part of a broader performance management system (PMS) where performance goals of all officers under each ministry will also be aligned and derived from the performance agreements between the PM and the minister.

The PMS was approved through a cabinet decision in September 2019 and was based on recommendations of the task force on institutional reforms, under the chairmanship of advisor to the PM on institutional reforms (A-PM-IR) Ishrat Hussain.

To operationalise the cabinet decision, SAPM-E Arbab, spearheaded the performance agreements pilot exercise with 11 ministries to refine the approach, build the systems and scale implementation in the next fiscal year.

SAPM-E, during his opening remarks at the session, stated, “Besides performance accountability, the purpose of the review sessions is to learn and refine the performance agreements to implement this transformative reform across the federal government starting July 2020, when the pilot is complete.”

An experienced peer review committee headed by planning commission (PC) deputy chairman (DC) Jahanzeb Khan and comprising of establishment secretary, finance secretary, planning secretary and cabinet secretary was also established to successfully complete the pilot.

Individual sessions were scheduled for each of the 11 ministries, and progress was presented to the review committee by the respective federal secretary.

Progress was reviewed based on performance on development, service delivery, policy making and revenue generation, as either achieved, on-track or off-track under the agreed timelines.

The novelty of these performance agreements is that ministries specified interdependencies on other ministries before signing with the PM, which has now served as concrete feedback to timely remove bottlenecks and improve governance.

In addition, based on experience, ministries also put forth their lessons learnt and recommendations to improve the performance agreements which were discussed in detail to fine tune the performance agreements for the next financial year.