APO public sector performance management workshop 22-26 June

Friday, 19 June 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Harsha Udayakantha Peiris

The five-day Workshop on Performance Management for the Public Sector, organised by the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) in Japan in collaboration with the National Productivity Secretariat (NPS), under the purview of the Ministry of Public Administration, Provincial Councils, Local Government and Democratic Governance, will be held from 22 to 26 June in Sri Lanka, at the Mount Lavinia Hotel.

The workshop will focus on a broad scope which will include the principles of good governance in the public sector, citizen-centred service delivery, networking among federal, state and local government services, quality regulatory management systems, modern public sector management and best practices in public sector performance management. This will be done through expert lectures, field visits, group discussions and the preparation of an action plan. 

In its special notification of the project, the APO stated that one of the biggest challenges for public management systems was the increasing dynamism of the public service, the rising expectations of citizens, trends toward ‘right sizing’ and innovation in service delivery. Realistically evaluating efforts in the sector creates value and validates real performance. Although great strides have been made in various spheres of public services such as e-government, centralised service delivery systems and such procedures, they basically resemble service delivery solutions for its recipients or citizens.

What is desperately needed is the ‘how’ to plan and manage effective, sustainable public sector performance. The emergence of performance management in the public sector focuses not only on individual employees but also on teams, programs, processes and the organisation as a whole. 

This trend is now beginning to catch on in emerging economies for various reasons, including increasing pressure from citizens to improve service delivery, encroaching globalisation, the obsolescence of some bureaucratic tasks, the universal necessity for good governance in the public sector and national competitiveness agendas. 

At the individual level, there is growing demand for greater accountability and transparency in managing national resources, especially from taxpayers who are educated and aware of the work of the Government and how it delivers public service. 

Accordingly, the workshop on performance management model emphasises performance to create and sustain a healthy, effective, result-oriented culture in public sector organisations. To some extent, performance management includes the activities of the Government or its agencies in planning, implementing, reviewing, evaluating and reporting the effectiveness of its policies, programs and projects. The purpose of organisational performance management in the public sector is to introduce systematic control in the management process to achieve organisational objectives. 

Furthermore, this workshop will target a group of up to 25 qualified overseas participants and up to 10 qualified local participants at the mid to senior management level. They are expected to contribute to ongoing program development for public-service management and as course alumni create multiplier effects. 

The APO started its activities, catering to the public sector, from 2009 with the study meeting on public sector productivity in South Korea and a workshop on Benchmarking Service Quality in the Public Sector in Indonesia. In February 2010 the APO organised an expert group meeting to identify areas of engagement and make recommendations for public sector productivity improvement within the region. 

The meeting identified four major players - the central government, local governments, public service agencies and public enterprises - with a huge potential to enhance public sector productivity. 

The APO also developed a public sector productivity framework and action plan in 2012 based on the deliberations at the Jakarta workshop. After introducing the framework in 2013 and 2014, other projects for improving public sector productivity were undertaken.

The workshop on Performance Management for the Public Sector in Sri Lanka will be held in the presence of the Minister of Public Administration, Provincial Councils, Local Government and Democratic Governance, Karu Jayasuriya, and with the participation of the Secretary of the Ministry, J. Dadallage, Director of the APO in Japan, Tilaka Jayasundara, Director of the National Productivity Secretariat, Suranga Gunarathne and a number of government officers representing several ministries. Prof. Prajapathi Thrivedi, Dr. Shin Kim and D. Brian Marson will be members of the workshop’s resource panel.