Statement by Minister Collins Chabane on progress with performance monitoring and evaluation
29 Sep 2010
Good morning ladies and gentlemen of the media.
Today, we are proud to brief you on a significant achievement of yet another one of our key milestones, the signing of the delivery agreements for the 12th outcomes.
The signing of the delivery agreements is an important and final phase to complete our planning process and begin to usher in the implementation phase. The delivery agreements for each of the outcomes have now been largely completed and will be signed from tomorrow, 30 September 2010 and over the coming weeks.
This process follows the successful completion of the performance outcomes and the signing of performance agreements between President Jacob Zuma and Ministers in April this year.
The Department for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (PME) will now facilitate the process of regular reporting and monitoring of progress against the agreed outputs and targets in the delivery agreements. This process will foster an understanding of how the various spheres of government are going to work together to achieve the outcomes.
Many aspects of the delivery agreements are already being implemented. This process therefore, is intended to strengthen current systems to ensure a coordinated and results focused approach to service delivery.
During October and early November the president will be meeting with those ministers who are coordinating the development of the delivery agreements, in order to obtain progress reports and to discuss the likely challenges which lie ahead in their implementation.
In addition to the delivery agreements, the president will be continuing with his programme of visiting service delivery sites to monitor progress. The purpose of these site visits is for the president to gain first-hand experience of service delivery and to highlight issues that need to be worked on by the various arms of government.
The president will also conduct a programme of visits to individual government departments to monitor their performance starting in November. The Department for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (PME) will, working with other departments, provide the president with performance information of departments.
This will include information on performance in relation to the performance agreements he signed with the ministers, performance against departmental strategic plans, and an assessment of the quality of management practices.
In addition, PME is currently working with other departments at the centre of government, including National Treasury, Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), and Offices of the Premiers, to develop and pilot an institutional performance assessment tool, which will be used to objectively assess the quality of management practices in departments and municipalities.
The tool will be informed by good international practice, and we are receiving assistance and advice from the Canadian, United Kingdom and Dutch governments in this regard.
The management practices assessed will include basic administrative issues such as supply chain management, financial management, human resource management and development, and service standards. The main aim of these performance assessments will be to develop a culture of continuous improvement in the public service.
Together with the other departments at the centre of government, we will be working with all departments to assist them to improve areas of weakness identified by the performance assessments.
Discussions are also under way with DPSA and the Office of the Public Service Commission regarding the possibility of linking the results of these institutional performance assessments to the annual performance assessments of heads of departments.
I will now describe the process of producing the delivery agreements in more detail:
In January this year, this government adopted the outcomes approach which should guide the work of this administration for this term. In his State of the Nation Address, President Zuma committed that this administration's work will be measured according to outcomes.
The outcomes approach follows a four step process:
The first step involves the adoption of a set of key strategic outcomes with measurable outputs and key activities. The starting point was the ruling party's election manifesto, which identified five priority areas, namely decent work and sustainable livelihoods; education; health; rural development, food security and land reform; and the fight against crime and corruption.
Government translated the priorities into the medium term strategic framework (MTEF) 2009 to 2014, which identified 10 strategic priorities. The priorities were then further developed into the 12 key outcomes, together with draft high-level outputs, key activities and metrics.
The second step was the development and signing of performance agreements between the president and ministers, which outlined high level outputs, indicators, targets and key activities for each outcome.
In instances where departments do not contribute directly to the 12 outcomes, their performance agreements include key outputs from the strategic plans of their departments. The president will in the coming weeks meet with coordinating ministers to obtain feedback on the conclusion of the delivery agreements.
The third step, which is where we are now, is about converting the high level outputs and metrics into a detailed delivery agreement with the key partners that need to work together to achieve the outputs. The negotiated agreement spells out who will do what, by when and with what resources.
Collectively, these agreements will reflect government's delivery and implementation plans for its foremost priorities. The coordinating ministers have been coordinating the process of negotiating the delivery agreements through established delivery forums.
These delivery forums are either national government clusters or intergovernmental meetings of national Ministers and their provincial and national counterparts, depending on the nature of the outcome.
The forth step is the monitoring of the implementation of the delivery agreements and deciding on interventions when required. This will provide a feedback loop to regular reviews of the delivery agreements.
This monitoring will be done by the delivery forums, which will produce quarterly progress reports which will be submitted to PME Department for submission to Cabinet. PME will also collect data on progress with key indicators from other independent sources. Cabinet will review these progress reports and agree on remedial actions where necessary.
Delivery agreements are collective agreements that in most cases involve all spheres of government and in some cases a range of partners outside of government. Combined, these agreements will reflect government's delivery and implementation plans for its priorities.
They serve as a basis for reaching agreement with multiple agencies that are central to the delivery of the outcome targets.
The PME Department has been involved in the discussions and negotiations of the delivery agreements and providing support in this regard.
A delivery agreement:
- A delivery agreement is a negotiated agreement between the key partners who will work together to deliver on an outcome. The lead coordinating department provides the leadership and will be assisted by all key role players.
- The agreements are detailed and provide descriptions of key activities: who needs to do what, by when, and with what resources.
- The delivery agreements take into account the context in which implementation must happen: the existing legislation, regulations, institutional arrangements, funding and related issues.
- The Delivery Agreements describe the logic between inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes and targets.
- Delivery agreements are a detailed implementation plan for ministerial performance agreements related to the 12 outcomes.
At national level, ministers that are signatories to a delivery agreement will be held accountable by the president. The performance agreements between the president and ministers will be a mechanism for the president to hold ministers accountable.
As the Minister for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, I will be a signatory to the delivery agreement for outcome 12, relating to creating an efficient and effective public service.
In conclusion, as from tomorrow and over the coming weeks, the ministers involved in the various outcomes will brief the media on the contents of the delivery agreements as they are signed. Government Communications (GCIS) will be coordinating and announcing dates for briefings on various outcomes.
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Issued by: The Presidency
29 Sep 2010
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