Performance Management in the Public Sector

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Abstract There are very few administrations around the world that are not undergoing some type of reform programmed at present. The reform agenda tends to focus on issues such as accountability of public bodies and individuals with less emphasis on inputs and an increased focus on outputs and outcomes, as well as on improving performance and delivering quality services to the public. If we look at what it is that the public want and what exactly mean by “performance”, there is a clear demand of the public for impartiality, simpler procedures, and respect for the law, disclosure of information, high standards of service and value for money. They want Economy, Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Equity. Summary We have learned from the past experience that change efforts require leadership; any new change initiative has to be led from the top. There needs to be priority allocation time, agreed consultation arrangements, mechanisms to signal difficulties and it requires fairness and transparency with maximum clarity in defining key concepts There is also a need for the acknowledgement of exceptional circumstances and a methodology to address variations across the public service. Consultation, participation and communication are keys to the successful implementation of change to improve performance. Commentaries When new initiatives are introduced into the organization careful planning must be put in place to ensure that the support of senior managers is ensured. Leaders and “champions” will be needed at all levels in the authority. It will be important that management constantly reinforce the message to staff that performance matters but more importantly, they must show this by the actions they take. It is important to ensure that staff are continuously informed whether decisions or changes they have made have actually improved things as past experience has shown if this is not achieved...
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