Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has begun the gradual phase-out of the Annual Performance Evaluation Report (APER), with the take-off of the service-wide training for officers on Performance Management System (PMS) in Abuja.
The exercise is part of its commitment to enhancing service delivery in the public service.
The Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, made the disclosure at the opening of the three-day training at the Public Service Institute of Nigeria, (PSIN), Abuja.
The training is a partnership of the Office of the Head of Service, the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPM) and the Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG).
Yemi-Esan said the obvious limitations of APER gave rise to PMS, noting that the latter which is digitally-driven would help prepare all categories of public officers for goal and objective setting.
She said: “What we are doing today is a training workshop on the new Performance Management System that will replace the APER that has been used for years and has quite a number of limitations.
“One of the limitations we have seen is that it doesn’t really give any sense of reward or what the officer has done. And what we discovered recently is that officers just sit down and fill forms themselves with no clear objectivity and there is no appraisal whatsoever with the APER form. And the APER form is filled just once a year. So whatever you’ve done wrongly or rightly throughout the year sometimes can be missed. Again, APER is a paper-based appraisal.
“But the new Performance Management System that we are introducing now is a digital system and every officer will have to go online and fill in his/her target for the year.
“At the beginning of every year, the officer will agree with his immediate superior on a target based on the departmental strategy as well as the national strategy. So, the officer will be able to relate to the national goals.
“This is unlike sitting in the office and not knowing what the national goals are. We want every officer in the public service to relate with the national goals.”
The Head of Service while calling on participants to pay attention to key aspects of the training added that PMS will form part of the determinants for promotion of public officers in the future, saying, “in setting an objective for the officer, it must be related with the institutional goals, the departmental or unit goals and once we do that, there would be quarterly appraisals.
“The information is online and is also real-time. You don’t need to look for forms. When it is time for promotion, what the Director, Human Resources will do is to forward the summary of the individuals’ appraisal, and translate it to the Office of the Head of Service for onward transmission to the Federal Civil Service Commission. This will give every officer a sense of ownership and belonging that he or she is working towards the institutional goals,” she added.
Highlighting the importance of the training, the Head of Service noted that “institutionalising PMS is one of the key building blocks for repositioning the public service,” adding that the programme is anchored on “the principles of accountability, transparency, equity, and ownership and when fully operational, every individual, unit, department, and institution in the public service would be held accountable on a continuous basis, to ensure that national development goals are achieved.”
There were goodwill messages from notable personalities including Dr. Magdalene Ajani, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, and Mrs. Titi Akinsanya, Vice President, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria, among others.