Performance Management Reform, Article Review Example

This review looks at how the legislative can be inculcated in the administrative and system of the government to ensure performance management in the reform process. Performance management is defined as a reform process that focuses the use of tools that measure the results of policy making, budget decisions as opposed to inputs alone.  The various arms of the governments in many states across the world need to work together for policy management, development  and reforms, however proponents of this assertion often fails to provide a way these  separate arms can work together in managing the public sector.

This work looks at how the legislative arm of the government can ensure implementation of performance management reform. This is especially so because of the  administrators in public administration owe  a lot of alleges to legislature in democratic states like USA.The question of how the independent separate arms of government within the state are arranged tends to bring complications on how these entities can interact and perform their duties effectively (Perspectives on performance management, p 254).

Performance management depicts an activity that is reform oriented on the application of performance assessments in policy making and budget decisions besides management. It is therefore very imperative that legislators have the management skills, as well budget making decisions for them to take part in performance management. This is on the powers and the cardinal roles that legislators play in the state, given that they owe an allegiance to the people who elected them to office to provide oversight over government spending and implementation of laws passed. Legislators are entrusted with very important duties not only coming up with laws and policy but also making the government to respond to the pertinent issues raised by the people of a given location.

For public administrators a key tension is that administrative organizations are expected to achieve efficiency which may conflict with legislative values of representativeness or openness. Tension between legislative bodies and administrative bodies in the implementation of management reform .The variations in the structure of the legislative body with the staff comparative to the executive some of these variations affect policy making.

The element of performance management is also highlighted in this paper as a reform that emphasizes on the use of performance measures in policy making, management, and budget decision, and a focus and lays more emphasis on the output rather than input.

Legislators need to know that administrative efficiency is achieved through policy direction and some altitude of administrative tact to use resources toward their most productive end. Legislative bodies are intended to act as a control to executive power to present a big portion of the population and campaign for their constituent’s interests (Perspectives on performance management, p 254)

Fragmentation of decision making and opposing political interest  are the major cause of difficulties in performance-based management reforms, as well as  legislative capacity and legislature failure apply the information from the reform. The issue of competing over policy making by the different organs of the state results to blurred policies. Performance management reform requires agencies to identify clear-mission oriented policy objectives, and this is usually hindered by political conflicts.  These conflicts also arise in case where policy approvals and performance conflict with political demands to defend major constituencies.  For instance in the U.S the national level performance reform led budget cuts in the administrative roles such as health administration. However the legislative did not accept the suggestions.

There are certain factors that changes in the government system that can widen or reduce the aspect of fragmentation in the legislative decision making process. Besides the interdepartmental negotiations, Anther major that leads to the fragmentation of a legislative body is its size and the huge number of  committees within the  legislature itself. Certain states have taken initiatives to handle the fragmentation in the legislative system and enable effective decision making by the reducing the legislative membership (Perspectives on performance management, p 254).

Another way to enhance the adoption of performance management reform is to empower the executive, and this will enable government personnel to know clearly the orders and guidelines to follow. However, the legislatures will tend to have less power or authority to provide oversight over the reform process. Research also shows that in those states where legislature has more duty on the budget and does not just rubberstamp what the executive has prepared, Public resources are managed more effectively and efficiently.  Relative legislative authority comparative to the executive can result to fragmentation and micro-management.

Legislators are restricted by the nature of their elective offices to fully take part in policy making. This is because the most legislature lack the technical skills needed to craft policies. This role is often left the technocrats in the public service. The aspect of big legislative entities adds up the legislative powers and also increases the cost that is associated with legislative decision making process.

According to table 1(p. 257) research on the variables on the index measure of effectiveness on the performance management in improving management, opinion were divided on whether these tools developed to measure the effectiveness of the performance management been effective. While some people indicated that effective, a good number were of the opinion that it increased duplication of services in the government.

In democratic government, legislative oversight is very important to prevent abuse of power by the executive. But the process of engaging the elected members of parliament is not only time consuming but also difficult to implement performance management. This has led some scholars to adopt reforms internally within the administration.

Legislators are also not able to implement reform policies effectively because of time limits as well constraints on the electoral process. This hinders their ability to use information and come up with policies. The legislative entities are always expected to make many decisions in the performance management reforms.

Some scholars have suggested that legislature should adopt professionalism to make them more efficient in their work. While this is a call that includes training of the staff, the elected officials will attract higher pay than unprofessional legislatures and have the ability to work fulltime. As a result, Professional legislators are able to implement policies more effectively and efficiently.

Another challenge faced by legislature is the electoral cycle’s process which tends to elect official on a short term basis. This affects the effectiveness of the legislature to conduct performance management on the broader national policy issue because the voters will reward the legislature for tackling local parochial issues as opposed to national matters.

Some studies suggest that to ensure that legislators are able to effectively implement policies for reforms, and then an oversight body should be established, this oversight body will help ensuring accountability among the legislators in carrying out their duties.


Legislators play a very important role in policy making within every state and there duty in ensuring performance management reform cannot be trivialized at all. However the state should realize the different structures in the several of governments together with administrative roles make it difficult to realize the above very important roles.

The legislators need professional training so that they can implement policies and they should not lay more focus on their political interest at the expenses of the national interests. There is also need to ensure that both the legislature and the executive take part collectively in decision making. The legislators should lay more emphasis on national policies than local policies that affect the constituents. They should be provided with professionally trained staff to ensure that they can easily make decisions and implement policies.

They should understand that due to the electorate nature of their offices, time limit therefore is a major cause in poor policy implementation and good decision making; they should therefore understand this fact and be able to make policy within the elective period.

The duty of ensuring performance management reform lies on the legislators, the executive, the administrators of the government and legislative entities within the state, and even the electorate by ensuring that they  elect leaders who are good decision makers and good policy makers, who put first the interest of the nation before their selfish interest to ensure good governance and proper performance management reform for good policies within the state.