Plan targets set without proper study?

RAA points out deficiencies in 11th Plan implementation

Tashi Dema

The Gross National Happiness Commission Secretariat (GNHCS) identified the 16 national key result areas (NKRAs) and 61 key performance indicators of the 11th Plan without a proper study.

Although GNHCS identified that NKRAs based on review and consultations, there was no document produced to validate that a proper study had been conducted to analyse current situations, key challenges, main strategies, key programmes and KPIs for the NKRAs.

This, the Royal Audit Authority pointed out in a report released on Monday, March 2.

GNHCS also could not provide any information on the basis for selection of the KPIs and thereby failing to establish the relevancy of it.

None of the 16 key result areas was achieved fully in terms of achievement of the KPIs although there was significant progress in terms of percentage achieved for KPIs.

All the key result areas at the national, sectoral and dzongkhag level were formulated based on the four pillars of Gross National Happiness

The RAA also observed that agencies have not carried out adequate studies while identifying the KPIs, strategies and programmes at the sectoral key result areas (SKRAs) level. “The rationale for deciding the baseline data and the targets were not documented.”

It also stated that targets were either kept constant or projected with a minimal increase from the baseline data without proper justification.

According to audit, while the GNHCS responded that they conducted extensive study and consultation at both national and local level, including non-government organisations, the consultations and studies were not officially documented. “Thus, the RAA opines that in absence of documents to show study carried out on identification of KPIs and programmes before finalizing the plan, the genuineness and extent of the analysis and study said to have been conducted cannot be assured.”

It also stated that since formulation of KPIs, baselines and targets are critical part of planning process, it requires systematic and scientific method of determining the KPIs and targets and not based on theoretical assumptions.

RAA distributed information collection templates to 10 ministries and selected constitutional and autonomous agencies in order to assess the achievement of 16 NKRAs and to validate information from the source.

“On reviewing information provided by ministries, agencies, government performance management division and GNHC, it revealed that only one NKRA was achieved and 15 NKRAs were not achieved fully, although there were significant progress in terms of percentage achieved for each KPIs.”

Promoting good governance was the least achieved NKRA.

 

No ownership of NKRA

Of the 61 KPIs, 30 were achieved fully and the rest could not be achieved fully because there was no lead agency assigned to implement, monitor and evaluate the implementation of NKRAs. “As a result, many KPIs of the NKRAs were not linked with agencies’ targets and indicators, which in turn impeded in achieving the targets.”

Absence of lead agencies for implementation of NKRAs led to lack of ownership and difficulties in tracking the progress of achievement. “Thus, lacking responsible agencies to implement the KPIs and fix the accountabilities in case of non–achievement of targets.”

RAA also found inconsistency in data collected and maintained by various agencies at all levels.

It was also observed that some targets require data that were not readily available. “There were no established procedures and standards in place to regulate input of accurate and reliable data. For instance, there were KPIs that needed to record the air pollution level in the cities, which was never recorded. Similarly, there were many other KPIs, for which data was never maintained,” RAA stated.

The monitoring mechanism was found inadequate. The only review carried out to assess the achievement of the NKRAs was the mid-term review. “No review was carried out annually and at the end of the plan period for the NKRAs. In the absence of progressive tracking on an annual basis, majority of the KPIs stated in the 16 NKRAS were not achieved fully.”

RAA also observed that the plan was not revised after the conduct of mid-term review to reflect the changes. It was also noted that terminal report published by GNHC during the plan period did not account one to one achievement of 16 NKRAs along with the corresponding KPIs.

The RAA also learnt that delay in commissioning of mega hydropower projects like Punatsangchhu, non-linkage of sectors’ contributions to 61 KPIs of 16 NKRAs and non-availability of parameters to record the data were some of the possible reasons for not achieving the 16 NKRAs fully.

It also found that non-achievement of plan targets indicated that the overall plan objectives were not achieved.

RAA cited examples like achieving only over six percent GDP growth rate of the targeted 10 percent, 62 percent achievement in domestic financing to total expenditure out of the 85 percent target as the impact of plan targets affecting the 11th Plan objectives.

“Income poverty, which was targeted to be reduced to less than 5.2 percent was reduced to 8.2 percent only. Target achievements fell short in terms of employment creation, education, health and in many other sectors,” the report stated

Meanwhile, RAA recommended the GNHC to develop a scientific method to ensure proper setting of plan targets and performance indicators to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in planning and implementing national developmental programmers and activities.

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