Governance: Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay signed annual performance agreements (APA) with all the ministers, dzongdags, thrompons and heads of autonomous agencies yesterday, beginning the “actual implementation” of the government performance management system (GPMS).

The government piloted the GPMS a year after coming to power in 2013.

Lyonchoen said that the main purpose of the GPMS is to address His Majesty The King’s concern about government doing best at planning and failing wile implementing them.

“While we are good at planning, we are not translating them into action,” Prime Minister said. He added that translating the plans into action is about achieving results. “And so, the GPMS.”

GPMS is also strengthening and taking decentralisation to next level. “We’ve been reluctant to achieve real decentralization of power,” Prime Minister said. “So, through the GPMS, with contract between government various agencies and their subordinate agencies, automatically we have to decentralise power and budget to the lower agencies.”

The system will implement the whole-of-government approach in planning, budgeting, accounting and human resources assessment by integrating national systems and processes for these functions.

Under the system, Gross National Happiness Commission, department of budget, department of accounts, National Statistics Bureau and Royal Civil Service Commission are brought together to take care of planning, budgeting, accounting, checking data quality and personnel assessments respectively.

Prime Minister said that beginning with this APA, RCSC will use performance results of agencies while appraising the performance of the respective agency heads and some form of appraisal would also be accorded to their staff.

“The system is about results,” he said. “Implementing the Government Performance Management System is a big leap for efficiency.”

The ministries and agencies have submitted their performance reports for the 2015-16 fiscal year. The national technical committee of 55 members will split in to groups and visit the dzongkhags to evaluate APA achievements for the fiscal year 2015-2016. The assessment will be carried out to learn about best practices and identify areas for improvement.

The system has a fortnightly issue-reporting and problem-solving feature, which is a mechanism to report implementation issues that are beyond ministry, dzongkhag and agency’s capacity or authority, to the Prime Minister.

The annual budget of the agencies are linked to APA targets. A total of 41 Agencies are signing APA this fiscal year. The agencies took six months to prepare the APA.

Between 2015 and 2016, implementation of APA began with 36 agencies. The government also created national technical committee (NTC) comprising of members from GNHC, government performance management division, finance ministry, NSB and RCSC.

Although GPMS is implemented in other member countries of SAARC like Bangladesh and India, the agreements are signed only with the ministries.

“We’re the only country that has taken GPMS to the local government level,” the cabinet secretary, Kinzang Wangdi said.

GPMS is gaining attention of international and regional agencies, lyonchoen said. UNICEF officials and the Bangladesh’s cabinet secretary visited the country recently to study the system.

Lyonchoen also released the government calendar for fiscal year 2016-17.

Tshering Palden