Performance Appraisal of Bureaucrats; A New Approach

31/08/2022 0 By indiafreenotes

Bureaucrats and their service records are now going to be assessed by the Central government to take a call on retiring the non-performers or identifying those lacking integrity.

The government will seek a list of non-peforming officers every month from each department and take further action.

Centre will also assess the performance of all officers who have turned 50 or have completed 30 years of service to decide whether they be allowed to continue in service or compulsorily retired.

Centre’s Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) had earlier launched an Online Probity Management System, in 2017, to assess the integrity and performance levels of officers. It was planned that the portal would be extended for other employees to help the government coordinate between Probity, Sparrow (Smart performance appraisal report recording online window) and Solve portals to assess officers on the basis of performance and integrity.

Currently the performance of civil servants is assessed through Annual Confidential Report (ACR) prepared by superior authority. If the 360 degree performance appraisal report supplements the ACR, it will lead to a hazy conclusion on the performance of the employees evaluated. The questionnaire meant for evaluation must be based on relevant aspects the employees are associated with. In the corporate world the system of 360 degree performance appraisal fits well assessment is done on specific metrics such as sales growth, targets, customer satisfaction etc. However, bureaucracy in India cannot be evaluated on such metrics as it involves intricacies of public service. Further, bureaucracy in India is said to be infatuated with unfounded apathy to the existing work culture and suffer from lack of values and ethics. The second Administrative Reform Commission highlighted this deficiency in the existing performance appraisal system. As such bureaucracy in India suffers from sense of closely-knit fraternity, where assessment of the subordinates by the superior authorities’ remains always biased. Moreover, the 360 degree performance appraisal system is less an instrument to facilitate promotion than to enhance performance and efficiency. The validity of the system in bureaucratic performance evaluation in India cannot be fully assessed unless it is implemented properly.

Critically examine the performance Appraisal in governance system in India.

Performance evaluation holds a great importance in every organization i.e. corporate, business and also government organization. It is an essential medium through which the organization concerned prepares blueprint for future development and growth. The performance of every government servant is evaluated on an annual basis through his/her Annual Confidential Report (ACR). ACR is an important document providing the basic and vital inputs for assessing the performance of the Government servant and his/her suitability personal advancement, promotion, deputation, foreign or any other important assignments purported to be undertaken by him/her. The system of confidential reports about the performance of government servants is a means to an end, and not an end in itself.

It is not a fault-finding process, but a development one.The main performance measure is the amount of money spent and the success of the schemes, programmes and projects is generally evaluated in terms of the inputs consumed. Its primary objective is to realize successful utilization of government policies and programmes. As the appraisal process is solely conducted by the superior authorities, chances for biased opinions are many in the final report. If the evaluated employee is not found in the good book of the evaluator, the report may be antithetical to the fact. If the true intent of personnel performance evaluation is meant to increase efficiency and boost morale of the employees, ACR practised in government sector does not fit the bill. A greater weightage is given to subjective factors than objective in the performance appraisal, from which promotions and postings flow. The current system assigns 60% weightage to personal attributes and functional competency (a subjective assessment) and just 40% to work output (an objective assessment).

The need of the hour is to infuse corporate blood into the bureaucracy by giving more weightage to results than to the personalities of the employees. The performance appraisal system should be tuned with the demands of changing time when competency of the employees matters a lot for improving the quality of bureaucracy. It should aim at enhancing core competencies of the civil servants in order to make them essential for carrying out good governance in India.