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Practice:Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport

From CAF Network

DescriptionDescription of practice

Description of the improved result(s) of the organisation

DG III of the Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport is responsible for i.a. the following matters:

•Civil service law


•Performance controlling (Wirkungscontrolling)

•Civil service innovation

•Coordination of the use of Management Instruments like CAF

•Training programmes for Federal staff

Until 2016, DG III of the Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport did three CAF self-assessments, in the years 2006, 2011 and 2015. This case study compares the two self-assessments of 2011 and 2015 in the light of the introduction of Performance Management (Wirkungsorientierung) in the entire Federal Administration in Austria, with a focus on enabler criteria. In a nutshell, we can report significant improvements: CAF-scores for Enablers improved by 17 points on average and results by 10 Points according to theCAF scoring methodology.

With the implementation of Performance Management (Wirkungsorientierung) in the entire Public Administration as of 2013, also the Performance Controlling Cycle within DG III became more clearly structured and better aligned to strategic political goals. Forms are standardised and quality is assured. As the controlling cycle has been ran through completely three times now (for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015), the scores for several sub-criteria for ‘Leadership’and ‘Strategy and Planning’have now risen to the zone of ‘Check’(51-70 points) and even ‘Act’(71-90 points). A key instrument in this connection is the yearly strategy workshop with the upper management of the directorate, where strategic goals are defined. Also a mission statement of the directorate has been developed and made public. Regular meetingsof the management of 1,5-2 hourson a weekly basis and bi-weeklymeetings in the departments are the main communication instruments.

The same improvement of the score appliesfor sub-criterion 3.3, because employees are regularly included in drawing up, controlling and evaluating performance information. Performance information is also part of annualstaff interviews.

Another point is that performance information (at an aggregate level but including goals and indicators) is also discussed at least three times a year in parliament, in the planning and evaluation phases. This happens in the plenary of the National Assembly and in the Budget Committee (Sub-criterion 1.4 Manage effective relations with political authorities and other stakeholders). According to the Performance Management scheme, planning is threefold: a Mid-Term-Strategy for a 4-years-time-horizon and the yearly planning for the Budget Chapter (‘Untergliederung’inGerman) and respective global budget.In 2012, DG III developed a code of conduct to strengthen ethical behaviour.

Results and outcomesResults and outcomes of the CAF implementation

The implemented improvement or change project after the CAF self-assessment, leading to the results mentioned

Since 2013 the public administration at Federal level is managed according to the principle of outcome orientation. In other words, management is based on contributions towards achieving objectives in connection with solving societal problems.

The state is responsible for a wide variety of services, ranging from key public sector tasks such as providing education and health care or ensuring equal opportunities, legal certainty and social security, to the protection of consumers and workers, as well as more ‘exotic’services like avalanche control. As budgets are tight –given the current sovereign debt crisis and the need for budget consolidation –public funds must be optimally allocated in order to meet people’s needs and maintain the present high level of service in the long term.

This is where outcomeorientation comes in. Federal budgets show the societal effects aimed at by ministries and other public bodies, as well as how to achieve these and how to measure progress. By comparing the intended outcomes to the available budget, it is easy to see whether the resources to be used are proportionate to the objectives pursued.

An example from the area of transport policy

Outcome:fewer traffic accidents involving injuries on Austrian roads.

•Objective:improved road safety.

Input:personnel, financial and other resources, external actors.

•Activities:setting up a multiphase driver educationsystem, designing an awareness-raising campaign, drawing up proposals for measures to prevent accidents based on the analysis of accident data and patterns.

Output:a regulation on multiphasedriver education, an awareness-raising campaign on ‘drunk driving’, defining and implementing accident prevention measures in cooperation with external actors (e.g. Kuratorium Sicheres Österreich, an association aiming to promote safety and security consciousness).

•External factors:increased traffic volume, weather conditions.

Political objectives relating to a desired societal outcome form the starting point of performance management. It is the task of public administration to provide those services, i.e. the output that will best achieve the intended outcome. However, outcomes cannot always be clearly attributed to par-ticular outputs as external factors can play a role, too. Before services can be provided, the required resources, i.e. the necessary input must be ascertained and allocated.

Finally, the activities required to generate a particular output are carried out, either by public administration itself or by external service providers. Theservices thus provided produce short–term intermediate outcomes, which in turn give rise to the intended final outcomes in society in the medium and long term.

The degree to which the intended outcomes are attained is evaluated at regular intervals. In this context, effectiveness means ‘doing the right thing’, i.e. it is a measure of the extent to which the desired effect is achieved. The term efficiency, on the other hand,means ‘doing things right’, i.e. it is used to evaluate the output in terms of the resources used. In addition to these criteria, it goes without saying that legality continues to be a key standard for public administration activity.

The performance management cycle

As a result of the new budgeting law and the introduction of performance orientation, a new management cycle applies in public administration at Federal level.

Every spring each Ministry and each Supreme State Organ elaborates a multi-annual strategic plan which is laid down in the Strategy Report on the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework.This broad strategy is specified for each financial year in the annual Federal Budget, by means of outcome and output statements.

Outcome statements set out the effects to be achieved in society. The term output refers to prioritiesto be set and measures to be taken by public administration in order to achieve the desired outcomes. Outcome and output statements are meant to provide orientation for Parliament and the interested public regarding the priorities to be pursued by the respective Ministry or other public body in the next financial year.

Within public administration, the implementation of these priorities is ensured by means of performance mandates.These set out the operative work plan of a particular administrative unit for the following four financial years.

The benefits of this approach lie not only in defining policy aims at different levels but, in particular, in ensuring their achievement through management by objectives. Appraisal interviews form a further key element of the system, as it is there that each employee’s contribution to achieving the respective public body’s objectives is defined.

Outputs should be evaluatedat regular intervals so that any deviation from the plan can be detected in good time, and suitable steps taken to correct it. However, merely evaluating the output would not be enough to show whether the intended effect has been achieved. It is therefore necessary to carry out an evaluation of outcomes too.

The conclusions drawn from the evaluation of outcomes show any potential for increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of public administration activity. Evaluation results are therefore taken into account in elaborating the next strategic plan, and thus the performance management cycle comes full circle.

What are the advantages of this management model?

Members of Parliament are better informed when debating the budget and in a better position to demand that government and public administration achieve objectives. This is conducive to careful management of taxpayers’ money.

Citizens gain better insight into the government’s work, as well as a better understanding of the machinery of government and what it is responsible for. This will strengthen people’s confidence in public institutions.

Public administration can show the range of services it provides for citizens, organised interest groups, politicians and other stakeholders.

The definition of intended outcomes makes the aims to be achieved by public administration transparent to its various institutions and each of their staff members. This makes public administration even better able to target societal priorities with its activities and services, and to work effectively and efficiently.

As outcomes and outputs are geared towards achieving equality of women and men, it is possible to show, analyse and control the different effects of government activity on women and men.

Description of the prioritisation approach that led to the chosen project

The primary motivation for introducing performance management on the federal level was to improve budgetary decision-making. Performance management addressesthe following weaknesses of the traditional system:

•No binding medium-term perspective

•Prevailing focus on inputs

•Monopoly of cash perspective

As of 2013, the budget is a comprehensive steering instrument for resources, outputs & outcomes.

In this context, CAF comes in in several ways. When the organisation takes through the Common Assessment framework, all stakeholders are sensitised for a better implementation of the Performance Management system, as all CAF-criteria are checked with a view to performance management. Managers and staff in the CAF-team bring in their knowledge and discuss together how to best define and measure the outcomes of the organisation. Whereas Performance Controlling might concern only a small number of people, CAF offers the possibility to broaden the basis and by that realisethe full potential of PM. The introduction of PM has also an impact on the culture of the organisation and the CAF-process can support this change.

Further informationFurther information of the practice

This is a practice from the study "CAF Improvement identification,prioritisation and implementation" 2016
Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport PageIDUnique ID of the page: 744
Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport
YearYear 2016
CountryCountry of the practice Austria
CityCity, town or village Vienna
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Type of organisationType of organisation Government Ministry (national, regional)
Function of organisationFunction of organisation General public services
Size of organisationSize of organisation 51-100
Level of governmentLevel of government Central Government (national, federal)
OrganisationName of Organisation
DepartmentDepartment of the organisation
AddressAddress of the organisation Hohenstaufengasse 348° 12' 46.72" N, 16° 21' 59.94" E
ZIPZIP code (postal code) 1010
CityCity, town or village Vienna
WebsiteLink to the Website of the Organisation
EmailEmail of Organisation
PersonName of contact person Michael Kallinger
Job titleJob title of the contact person Head of Unit Public Sector Innovation