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Performance Management in “new” Public Sector!

In public sector, there has also been a worldwide interest in the models of so-called “New Managerialism” and “New Public Sector Management”. These models are based on a fundamental concept that public sector organizations can borrow many of the management strategies from the private sector.

One such fundamental strategy is that the organization must measure and evaluate its performance in order to minimize waste and maximize output. Strategic planning and performance management are at the heart of many current management paradigms such as Total Quality Management (TQM) and can even lead to practices such as Activity Based Costing (ABC) and Activity Based Management (ABM). Osborne and Gaebler, in their important book "Reinventing Government" outlined a number of key incentives for performance management in “new” public sector organizations:

  • What gets measured gets done.

  • If management doesn’t measure results, management can’t tell success from failure.

  • If management can’t see success management can’t reward it.

  • If management can’t see success, management can’t learn from it.

  • If management can’t reward success, management is probably rewarding failure.

  • If management can’t recognize failure, management can’t correct it.

  • If management demonstrates results, management can win public support.

From all of these perspectives; government-citizen; inter-governmental; and inter-organizational; it is clear that there is a growing pressure for both improved planning and performance management. Current common weaknesses could be organized into two broad categories.

Common weaknesses in planning and management of public services:

  • Effectiveness and efficiency of the services are not being measured enough.

  • Information is not being used to help improve the delivery of services.

  • Management decisions are not well- informed and well-planned enough.

  • Limited resources are not well-used and wastage exists.

Common weaknesses in accountability and citizen participation:

  • Measurements are not accurately reported.

  • Results are not made available for public view.

  • Citizens are not involved in setting objectives and performance indicators.


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