The Prime Minister Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay and Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji, Minister for Agriculture and Forests signed the first performance agreement of the government performance and management system (GPMS) marking a significant milestone in RGoB’s effort towards enhancing government’s performance.
Lyonchhen informed the GPMS task force members, ministry officials, cabinet secretariat officials and the media who had gathered to witness the signing that that to formulate new policies was an easy task but to fulfill the objectives required enduring effort and hard work.
Further, Lyonchhen asserted that this agreement would serve a very important purpose in evaluating the government’s performance every year. Lyonchhen said that he would have the same agreement with the rest of the ministries, all 20 Dzongdags and heads of various autonomous agencies.
The last 50 years of modernisation process have transformed our country from medieval to a modern nation state. In whole of the country in 1960s, there were just 11 primary schools with 500 students, and the total student population today is over 214,328. The country’s GDP in 1977 was a mere Nu. 1 billion and per capita GDP $ 105, and the GDP today is Nu. 99.5 billion, and per capita GDP $ 2584, one of the highest in South Asia. In 1990, the life expectancy was 48.9 years, adult literacy rate 25 %, and access to safe drinking water 40%, and today, the life expectancy is 67.46 years, adult literacy rate 63% and access to safe drinking water 94%.
Our selfless Kings have carried forward the country to where we are today. The civil service has been the nation’s backbone and driving force in fulfilment of the visions of the Kings. The merit based Bhutanese civil service is legendary in its reputation for its love and loyalty to King and country, professionalism, unquestionable commitment and dedication to public service. The Government has always undertaken regular administrative reforms for the civil service to keep pace with changing times.
With the introduction of democracy in 2008, fundamental changes in the system of governance have taken place with the elected Government at the service of people and accountable to them. Perform or perish is the defining feature of democratic governments.
The 11th Five Year Plan with budget outlay of Nu. 213 billion aims to achieve the national goal of self-reliance by 2020. Business as usual will not be adequate for successful execution of this ambitious plan, only government machinery which has been re-designed and sharpened for high performance rate at all levels of government can.
The Government on 19 December 2013 established a high level Steering Committee with Prime Minister as the chair, and a multi-sectoral Task Force on Government Performance Management System (GPMS) with the task of institutionalising the system which will assist and ensure Government does things well and does things right, and provide people information and tools to assess the performance of the government.
The Task Force has worked hard over the last three months to bring out the Guidelines for Performance Agreement, and is in the process of finalizing the Performance Agreements for all Ministries. Today, the signing of Performance Agreement between the Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture and Forests marks the first significant milestone in the Government’s effort towards enhancing government performance. Each of the Ministers in turn will have a Performance Agreement with his or her Secretary, and the Secretary, in turn, will have a Performance Agreement with the Heads of Departments under his or her ministry.
The Prime Minister will also have Performance Agreements with all 20 Dzongdags and head of autonomous agency he desires or deems necessary.
The Government will commit to provide the necessary fund and resources for delivery of results described in the annual Performance Agreement.
The Ministry/Department at the end of the year will be evaluated against the targets set and given a composite score. The composite score will show the degree to which the Ministry/Department was able to meet its targets.
The Government will assign 15% of total score as mandatory objectives for all Ministries/Departments for three common cross-cutting high priority objectives: implementation of anti-corruption measures, implementation of measures to improve Bhutan’s ranking in Ease of Doing Business, and efficient and effective public service delivery.
The Government will in the coming months concentrate on establishment of a permanent GPMS office at the Cabinet Secretariat, government wide training and capacity building, aligning annual budget and annual Performance Agreement and development of GPMS information system.