Government effectiveness key to competitive advantage: Top official

February 22nd, 2011 - 11:50 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) The government’s effectiveness is the key determinant of a country’s competitive advantage in the increasingly globalised world and citizens should get services in time and with courtesy, Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar said Tuesday. Addressing a workshop here on Results-Framework Document (RFD) - an instrument for improving the performance of government - policy, he said that experts agree that the race among nations will be won or lost not on the basis of comparative advantage arising from resource endowment, but by the competitive advantage created by effective governments.

The RFD policy covers not only the 62 departments and ministries of the central government, but also 760 responsibility centres attached to these departments, he said.

He said many state governments had shown interest in adopting the policy and governments of Maharashtra and Punjab had already taken steps to implement RFD policy at the state level.

Pointing out that RFD helps ministries to evaluate how well departments under their control have worked, he said India was not alone in launching this policy. Many countries, including Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the Netherlands, Denmark, Great Britain, the US and Finland, have made significant progress using such techniques, he added.

He said that returns from improving effectiveness of the government were immense. “Extra effort spent on improving government efficiency is likely to do more good on the margin than spending more money on a program that does not work effectively,” he said

Chandrashekhar said that government’s ability to deliver promised results was a necessary condition for improving perception about it but citizens also expect that results should be delivered with courtesy and in a timely fashion.

He said many of the existing evaluation systems in the country were conceptually flawed. “Civil servants, like most other people, respond to incentives,” he said.

The workshop organised by cabinet secretariat, was attended by over 1100 delegates from responsibility centres from different parts of the country under various ministries and departments of the government.

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