Strategy for Accountable Results-Based Public Service launched in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO (The Island/ANN) - The strategy for Managing Development Results (MfDR)/ Results Based Management (RBM) for the public service launches in Colombo.

The strategy for Managing Development Results (MfDR)/ Results Based Management (RBM) for the public service based on a Cabinet Memorandum submitted by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is also the Minister of National Policies, Economic Affairs, Resettlement and Rehabilitation, Northern Province Development and Youth Affairs was launched in Colombo recently.
The High-Level Forum was held at the Taj Samudra Hotel with the participation of senior Government officials, development partners, Non-Governmental sector and academia to discuss and formulate an implementation strategy for MfDR. This initiative was supported by Strengthening Democratic Governance and Accountability Project under the United States Agency for International Development Grant.
Secretary to the Ministry of National Policies, Economic Affairs, Resettlement and Rehabilitation, Northern Province Development and Youth Affairs V.Sivagnanasothy said that the MfDR process once fully operational, would result in a new management practice and style being established, that would hold Ministries, Departments and public officials accountable for results rather than mere efforts. It would, he pointed out, also empower Parliamentarians, the Media and Citizens to make public service accountable to results.
Sagala Ratnayaka, Minister of Ports & Shipping and Southern Development and Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister addressing the Forum described MfDR as a modern public management tool that ensured effective public service delivery in the government.
"There is a need for measuring performance to make public service more accountable", he stressed adding that the National Audit Act and the Right to Information Act had contributed to creating accountability in the public sector.
Minister of Highways & Road Development and Petroleum Resources Development, Kabir Hashim, while stressing on the need for accountability and learning, proposed that RBM be complemented with the National Evaluation Bill.
Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz, called for the mainstreaming of MfDR as a governance tool to improve public service delivery in order to fulfil the citizens needs.
Central Bank Governor Indrajith Coomaraswamy, set out the importance of performance management through Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as a process to improve accountability for results and performance measurement.
Hanaa Singer, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations Sri Lanka, spoke of the need to align the results target of Ministries with the National Development Plan and Sustainable Development Goals.
Secretary V. Sivagnanasothy explained the best practice models namely, Minnesota Milestones of the United States of America, Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit of the United Kingdom and Performance Management and Delivery Unit of Malaysia. He also emphasised on the importance of the shift of focus from ‘Compliance Oriented Accountability towards Accountability for Results’.
The MfDR process was recognised as a planning and budgeting tool to achieve results and also identified as a Monitoring and Evaluation tool to measure achievements and results. Selecting SMART KPIs at the outcome level with a baseline target was considered as an effective process for results-based planning and outcome-focused budgeting. The Forum endorsed the piloting of these strategies in five key Ministries with important subjects such as Resettlement and Rehabilitation, Health, Water Supply, Agriculture and Tourism.
The Workshop highlighted the need for sensitisation of policy-makers and senior government officials on the significance of MfDR and developing a MfDR framework with KPIs reported through scorecards for Monitoring and Evaluation, strengthening statistical capacities, linking the KPI-based framework to the budgeting system, capacity building for senior government officials, developing guidelines on methodologies and building MfDR in Universities and Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration curriculum and supporting the creation of an enabling environment for performance auditing.

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