Programme targets public services

National 3 minutes, 32 seconds

TEMBURONG

THE Management Services Department will begin assessing the performances of 20 government departments in April under the Public Sector Performance Grading Programme (3PSA).

The 20 departments provide public services and include the immigration department.

Five teams, each consisting of seven evaluation officers, will be assessing each department based on the standards and criteria set by the 3PSA guidelines.

Through the programme, introduced in March last year, the performance of each department will be rated with stars based on their scores.

According to the 3PSA guidelines, a score of 91 to 100 per cent will earn them five stars, 76 to 90 per cent four stars, 61 to 75 per cent three stars, 46 to 60 per cent two stars and below 45 per cent only one star.

Under the guidelines, the Management Services Department also provides a breakdown of the percentages, in which up to 40 per cent will be awarded based on “enablers” or strategies to enhance the department’s performance while up to 60 per cent will be awarded based on the results of their strategies.

Under both, departments will be assessed based on their strategic plans, policies and their implementation as well as the conduct of their human resources management and customer care.

Based on the guidelines, the evaluation process for a department can be completed in less than three months.

Speaking to The Brunei Times on the sidelines of the Management Services Department’s roadshow at Pekan Bangar’s Community Hall in Temburong, the department’s Acting Director, Aminuddin Hj Buntar, said all 20 departments had previously completed self-assessments at a workshop held last year.

The preliminary findings were also presented to the Management Services Department, he said, where the department was also able to identify each of their strengths and areas to be improved.

“Our strategy is to allow them to assess themselves first. We provide them with workshops and fieldwork. This could be considered a general checkup for them so they will be able to take corrective action in areas they need to improve,” he said.

“Then we will be assessing these departments in phases thoroughly by April, and we’re hoping we will be able to assess all of them in one year,” he added.

Based on their preliminary findings, Aminuddin said the general areas of improvement were mostly related to human resources management and the implementation of strategic plans.

“For each department, usually their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will be measured according to the strategies they’ve achieved in a period of time, and those KPIs are also part of what’s evaluated under the 3PSA.

“This also includes how they came up with their inputs and managed and achieved their strategies as well as the results of their initiatives in achieving them,” he said.

Should these departments take inputs from external stakeholders, Aminuddin said the departments will also be evaluated based on their efforts to communicate with them.

He added that monitoring the implemented strategies is also important, as it could also indicate what needs to be done to better achieve the targets.

“For example, in carrying out a plan or strategy, one also has to look at whether or not they’ve allocated enough resources or whether they’ve implemented the right initiatives.

“Members of each department must also keep questioning and evaluating themselves should the targets under each of their strategies not be met,” he said.

Aminuddin emphasised that the system is a means to help improve public services in the country, and therefore each department is eligible to be re-assessed after a period of three years to make sure they’ve had enough time to address the identified areas that need improvement.

He also said a pilot study had been done last year where four government agencies including the Management Services Department itself were assessed, but that was just part of their test to see how well the evaluation instruments and mechanisms could be implemented.

“And after the assessment, besides from workshops, there will also be training provided together with our partners the Civil Service Institute and Civil Service Department,” he said.

“As this is a new system, I’m hoping it will really help improve the performance and productivity of our public services with the departments being aware of what needs to be improved.”

The Brunei Times