The Public Service Commission (PSC) has once again rolled out a detailed human resources policy that, if implemented to the letter, will significantly improve efficiency of service delivery to citizens.
The Draft Performance Management Regulations 2020 root for the sacking of civil servants who fail to meet performance benchmarks as top performers get rewards.
Unlike in the private sector where ‘pay for performance’ is the norm, public jobs have traditionally been regarded as the comfort zone for nonperformers. Staff, once hired, are assured of job security up to the time they hit retirement age.
Under the proposed rules, however, every public entity is supposed to develop service delivery standards on which citizens will hold its staff to account.
Even more interesting is that the new performance management system proposes to give members of the public a mechanism through which they can evaluate the performance standards and effectiveness of staff decisions.
In short, the draft regulations underscore the fact that the Civil Service exists to serve citizens who, as clients, will now take part in appraising their servants.
At the moment, the credo “taking service closer to the people” has been deemed hollow because the many taxpayer-financed public offices being established at the grassroots hardly translate to improved service delivery.
According to the draft regulations, the PSC is supposed to provide a mechanism for members of the public to lodge complaints should a public body flout the set performance standards. We can only urge that these regulations be implemented expeditiously and applied alongside other reforms that PSC has outlined in recent months. One such reforms, and though painful one, is the plan to hire State workers – right from entry level – on three-year contracts renewable based on performance.
The policy, which is being put to use starting this financial year, is intended to weed the Civil Service of its non-performing employees.
The end result should be an efficient public service that gives results as opposed to what we have now that tends to make only as a result of its high wage bill.