Colombo Telegraph

A Strategic Management System For Sri Lanka’s Governance!

By Lionel Bopage

This refers to the weekly Cabinet news briefing by Sri Lanka’s Joint Cabinet Spokesman and Health Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne. In his briefing, reference has been made to certain Ministers sabotaging the anti-corruption drive, inefficiency and treachery etc. Please listen to the interview below:

This government has now been in power for about 18 months. However, it does not appear to have developed any strategic measures to handle or manage this pathetic situation! The government’s rhetoric alone does not help. The President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and some others have been to many talk shops and tours both locally and globally, but any strategic movement towards successful outcomes are yet to be seen by anybody.

A suggestion would be to, with professional help, develop a monthly updatable, simple Cabinet Scorecard for Sri Lanka. Though this is an old management tool, originally defined by Kaplan & Norton in the early 1990s, nowadays it has been developed and used by many agencies in the private sector, public sector and the not for profit sector and in many countries of the world! Originally, this tool was used only to measure financial performance, but in its modern format, it encourages people satisfaction measures; government business improvement measures and new measures needed for learning and growth, in addition to a few relevant high-level financial measures.

An updated Scoreboard would assist each Minister in running an efficient ministry. As updates will be made available for public scrutiny, such a tool, despite its deficiencies, will become useful and serve to motivate, implement and monitor progress each ministerial portfolio has achieved. This will help the people, President, the Prime Minister and others to keep track of what happens in the country as a whole, and will serve as a strategic management system to implement strategy at all levels of the government.

If the government continues to fail in its commitment of fulfilling its election commitments to the people of Sri Lanka, then it is time for civil society advocacy groups to develop such scorecards for each ministry. Such an exercise will undoubtedly serve as an educative tool for such groups to endorse or disendorse certain candidates based on their efficiency and performance. It will also help the ordinary Sri Lankans in their election decision-making process.

Without a strategy monitoring mechanism, it will remain the same; one of the most lethargic and inefficient governments in the world. Another round of frustration and disenchantment is not allowable at this crucial moment!

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