STREAMLINING GOVERNMENT

Saudi Arabia 2018-19 | ECONOMY | B2B

Government bodies are growing nimbler by the day, implementing best practices from abroad to trim the fat and tone the muscle of Saudi's public services.

Fawaz A. Farooqui
FAWAZ A. FAROOQUI
Director General
Delivery and Rapid Intervention Center (DARIC)
Husameedin Al Madani
HUSAMEEDIN AL MADANI
Director General
National Center for Performance Measurement (Adaa)

What are your biggest priorities as an organization?

FAWAZ A. FAROOQUI DARIC is under control of the Permanent Committee of the Council of Economic Development Affairs (CEDA), which is chaired by the Minister of Economy and Planning. Our model is based on the delivery unit approach that was developed under Tony Blair before it gained traction in the 2000s. The objective was to ensure that all government entities work together to resolve issues. At the moment, our key priority is the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2020. The country is committed to deliver on the NTP agenda in 2020; therefore, we are focusing on set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and monitoring where our assistance is required. In terms of the NTP's objectives, one of the challenges is for government entities to work together, which has improved since CEDA became the overseeing and coordinating body with dedicated executive committees tackling these challenges. Our primary challenge is to change the general mindset on project management and accelerate delivery on KPIs. Instead of waiting for the budget to be approved or contracts to be signed, we need to think about steps that can be taken today or tomorrow. For example, Saudi Arabia has an ambitious target to reduce the number of accidents. Rather than deferring to the several different authorities with shared responsibility on this matter and waiting for approvals, we decided to focus on short-term measures to reduce the number of accidents and accident-related deaths.

HUSAMEEDIN AL MADANI Adaa has given a new momentum to Saudi Arabia's march toward a new era of transparency and accountability to achieve Vision 2030's goals to take the Kingdom to a leading position in all fields. As an independent organization, Adaa reports directly to the Prime Minister. The last few years have been a period of continuous development and improvement, during which our operational process has been further streamlined, and Adaa has been equipped with expanded capabilities to achieve its mandate. We are working closely with public entities to measure their progress in implementing the programs and initiatives that help them attain their objectives to create a culture of transparency and accountability in public entities. Adaa has been tasked with performing timely and accurate reporting on government performance, and our mandate calls for two primary roles: measuring the performance of public entities in terms of delivering their targets and measuring satisfaction with government services. We have been quite active with the second part in particular. We launched our first set of citizen feedback tools in April 2018 under what we call the Beneficiary Experience Program (BEX), which stands for citizen, resident, visitor, and investor. What's more, we have just launched a beta version for one of our Beneficiary Experience products called the Watani application.

To what extent do you work with other public bodies?

FAF We are working together with Adaa, an independent organization that gauges performance, to dig deeper into areas we deem as priorities in order to achieve the NTP. When there is a KPI in red, we try to understand the bottleneck and assess the likelihood of delivery. One of the tools of the delivery science is to measure whether an initiative or target is likely to be achieved. Adaa gives an unbiased view so we can find the solutions to succeed. While a performance dashboard presents all the indicators, it is also important to have a delivery dashboard, which includes the impact on the ground. Our core mandate is to build delivery capabilities within the government, identify pinpoints, and intervene on request. These latter two are crucial areas where we see added value in Vision 2030.

HAM The true value of performance measurement is derived only when it triggers learning and insight and translates into visible changes in decision making and citizen wellbeing. Monitoring the performance of public entities and publishing transparent reports on accurately measured data is just one aspect of Adaa's role. What makes our work more meaningful is the support it offers to public entities to empower them to enhance their capabilities, improve their performances, and develop their services. To achieve this, we help develop and standardize relevant tools, methods, and approaches and raise the performance measurement capabilities and excellence of public entities by identifying issues through consultation and communication. We further drive excellence of entity performance measurement by supporting public entities to build their capabilities through continuous training based on international best practices.