The New Performance Management System in the Civil Service of Uganda
In the year 2002, the Government of Uganda instituted a new system of performance management (PM) as part of the public service reform programmes. The system encouraged participatory approaches; results oriented management; and systematic planning, monitoring and evaluation of performance. It replaced the old system that was ‘closed’ in nature as it never provided for dialogue in its execution. The new system has been in operation since 2002. While it is widely implemented in both the central and local government civil services of Uganda, its popularity has remained questionable. Even though some civil servants implement it fully, the majority violate its canons. Focusing on a ten-year period (2010 – 2019) and using data from 13 entities, I collected data through document review and analysed them both quantitatively and qualitatively. Using that data, I argue that most civil servants in Uganda have been reluctant to embrace the new PM system primarily because, to them, it is cumbersome; its significance is obscure; and it is simply an obligatory burden. This thinking has made the system unpopular. The most disliked areas of practice in the PM system in the civil service are: monitoring of performance on the side of managers and performance evaluation on the
side of subordinates. I recommend that the managers in the civil service create increased awareness among staff to ensure that PM system is well managed, adds value to the civil service and avoids becoming a mere ritual to be fulfilled.