Date: 1 May 2001
Service delivery imperatives and the quest for improved performance in the Public Service led to the requirement that departments in the national and provincial spheres of government had to have new performance management and development systems (PMDS) in place by 1 April 2001. Another factor that impacted on performance management in the Public Service was the development of proposals for a new pay progression system, a system that is intended to be based partly on performance.
A thorough assessment by the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) spanning the period March to May 2001 indicated that, by and large, departments were unable to meet the regulatory requirements by the required date. Nine national departments and one province have started implementing their new systems. Even in those cases where implementation is taking place, it is too soon to tell to what extent these systems have actually resulted in improved individual, team and organisational performance.
Despite the above, and what appears to reflect a negative scenario of performance management in the Public Service, the past three years have nevertheless seen a remarkable growth in the understanding of the new paradigm of performance management and development that needs to be instilled in the Public Service. This is highlighted by the fact that only three national departments and two provincial administrations have not made significant progress towards the development of new systems. The way forward requires the identification of those departments that most need capacitation and assistance, and determining the appropriate remedial action.