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FG To Replace Paper-Based Assessment For Civil Servants With Digital Alternative

Tunbosun Oyinloye

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FG to Replace Paper-Based Assessment for Civil Servants with Digital Alternative

The Federal government of Nigeria is reportedly setting up a new digital facility to extinct the traditional paper-based civil servant assessment.

The ongoing development was made public by the Head of Service of the federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, on Monday, November 16.

Dr. Folashade attended the take-off of a service-wide training for public officers on using the Performance Management System (PMS) in Abuja.

According to her, the FG has commenced the process of phasing out the paper-based Annual Performance Evaluation Report (APER).

The introduction of a digital performance management system, according to the HOS, is part of the government effort to enhance efficiency in the public service.

What is APER?

APER is an evaluative system incorporated in the Nigeria Civil Service in the year 1979.

The FG used the system to evaluate the performance of the public service servants.

The evaluation procedure, which takes place annually, allows the government to assess employees’ work ethics, skills, among other capabilities.

The routine assessment also doubles as a metric determining if a public staff is due for promotion and training.

FG to Replace Paper-Based Assessment for Civil Servants with Digital Alternative

Ministry of Information and Culture: Dr. Folashade Yemi – Esan, Acting Head of the Civil Service of the Federation during a board meeting

Major limitations

Although the system is often criticized for being more theoretical than practical, there hasn’t been a better alternative for decades now.

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Another major challenge that the system is faced with is the faulty or inefficient feedback policy.

This particular setback could, however, be attributed to the fact that the system operation is irregular.

With that been said, there are other concerns such as poor objective, cumbersome procedure and unquantifiable measures.

Interestingly, the FG didn’t claim to be oblivious of these shortcomings.

Speaking in that regards, the HoS stated thus;

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 give any sense of reward on what the officer has done.

“We also discovered recently that officers just sit down and fill forms themselves with no clear objectives while there is no appraisal whatsoever with the APER form,” she added.

In an attempt to buttress her point, Dr. Folasade reiterated that the annual paper-based appraisal is not sustainable.

She affirmed that there had been a prevailing issue about missing paperwork prior to the next appraisal.

She then admitted that the need to introduce the new digitally-driven PMS stems from some of the prevailing limitations.

How the new digital-driven PMS works

According to the HoS, all office superiors will be mandated to go online and fill in their respective target for the year.

As such, each officer will align with his/her superior based on the departmental/national strategy, which will serve as a guide for the year.

While this procedure will kick off at the beginning of the year, it will enable the officer to relate to national goals,” the HoS stated.

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To further ensure that each officer stays updated, the HoS said that all information would be communicated online henceforth.

The HoS further added that public servants’ promotion will still be based strictly on the PMS and the performance update within.

What Techuncode thinks

The Federal Government has again reinforced its commitment towards ensuring digital inclusion across all sectors.

It is interesting to see that the FG is meeting this requirement in another core of its existence.

More so, the government has embraced the new reality that is embedded in digitization.

However, it must stay through to the course to get the best result.

What do you think about the FG’s endeavour to switch from paper-based PMS to digitally-driven PMS?

Kindly share your thought with us in the comment section below.

Oyinloye Bosun is a writer at Techuncode. Although not a gadget freak, he has a keen interest in familiarizing himself with every technology product - software or hardware. He also loves to arm himself with the knowledge of tech activities/events taking place both on the Local and International scenes. The provision of the above has pushed him to choose writing as a profession. Wondering if he has a hubby? Yes! He loves streaming tech-related podcasts in his spare time.

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