Given the dysfunctional nature
of most public services in the country, there is an urgency in adopting a
modernization agenda for capacity building to deliver required outcomes. It is
important to adopt a holistic approach for the modernization task. The plan will
be spearheaded by a Modernization Unit created for the purpose in the Prime
Minister office. A detailed Action Plan will be devised for each state sector
(such as education health, commerce, communications, agriculture) both at the
federal level, and the provincial levels. A very simplified transformation
process wouldbasically include three stages, namely:
1. Action Plan formulation
2. Sector Tasks and Implementation
3. Outcomes and Feedback mechanisms.
Initially, a preliminary examination of the environment and resource
availability of each sector shall be undertaken immediately. The environment
includes an examination of both legal and political factors affecting the
performance of the sector. The resource availability includes examination of all
fiscal constrains in the area. This is required to get a general idea of the
sectors requirements, priorities, and the organizational structures of the state
agencies or departments. Also, a preliminary examination of the workforce and
capacity of these agencies or departments is required. Such knowledge is
required to find whether the state agencies or departments are performing
effectively and efficiently. It will help in identifying areas of performance
that have become problematic, if any. Such a scrutiny will provide a clearer
picture of the sector required for the formulation of a workable modernization
Meanwhile, the ModernizationUnit will carry out a simultaneous exercise to
determine qualitative and quantitative indicators to gauge performance of the
agencies and departments of the sector. It is necessary that the task be
completed in two months After the examination of the initial report is
undertaken a detailed strategy is devised for each sector. A comprehensive
Action Plan be prepared in the third month.
The second phase includes the formulation of detailed individual and group tasks
in accordance with the agreed action plan. The time for the implementation of
these action plans can stretch from a year to three years, depending upon the
strategy and sector. Therefore, action plans be formulated on one, two, and even
The third phase relates to the outcomes of the Action Plans and is very
important because it provides the feedback to the Prime Minister on the success
or failures of these plans. A separate Monitoring and Evaluation group shall be
created for the purpose in accordance with a framework given in the Action Plan
itself. It will include agreed upon performance indicators and targets for each
program. For example, performance indicators of the FBR may include, both
quantitative and qualitative indicators, such as:
1. Number of registered taxpayers by year
2. Number of large tax payers by year
3. Amount of tax collected and tax type by year
4. Amount of taxes in arrears by year
5. Amount of taxes refunded by year
6. Number of employees in different sections or regions by year.
1. Public perception of the bureau’s performance by year
2. Effectiveness of the employment of technology, especiallyIT, forintegrating
various tax data sets in the bureau.
3. Employment of IT for individual income tax capacity assessment.
4. Overall successful use of technology for enhancing bureau’s performance
5. Overall, assessment of corrupt practices hampering the performance of the
6. Assessment of organizational structure and weaknesses of the bureau.
7. Morale and self-image of the bureau over the years.
Essentially, the above is an incomplete scheme based on common sense and meant
to make a point only.
An annual report will be prepared for each sector. The scrutiny of the
departments or agencies will be carried out by a third party, preferably donor
agencies. Required changes shall be incorporated in subsequent year in the
concerned action plans, as per the recommendations of these reports.
The Function of Task Forces
This is essentially a three-tierdesign. Eachsector will be assigned three task
forces: federal, provincial and district. They will be headed by the concerned
minister or district head. Each Task force will be responsible for the
implementation of sector plan. The Task Force will provide oversight of the
sector’s working. It will meet monthly to ensure prompt decision-making. Each
Task Force shall include about 15 members which will be drawn from the
government itself, and outside experts. The primary function of the Task Force
shall be to:
1. Approve the Action plan
2. Oversight of the implementation of the sector strategy
3. Deliberate on policy issues that affect the implementation of the plan and
approve remedial measures.
4. Review the strategic direction of the plan in detail after six months.
5. Undertake the annual review of the plan with the assistance of a third party.
6. Review the feedback on the performance of the department or agency and
approve implementation of the recommendations, if any.
7. Follow up on the implementation of recommendations, if any
8. Carry out oversight of the Provincial Task Force
9. Undertake joint resource mobilization
The Provincial task forces are a duplication of the federaltask force. The
Provincial Task Force shall oversee the work of next tier of the District Task
The entire effort will be backed by a premier thinktank located in the Prime
The greatest urgency is to formulate a Digital -Pakistan strategy for which a
revamped and robust IT ministry is direly needed. The application of modern
technology is essential to integrate the work of the entire government of
Pakistan, both at the federal and provincial levels. An urgent effort needs to
be made to modernize the state’s IT infrastructure. The present structure is
inadequate to meet the future requirements of government of Pakistan. A reputed
global company be given a five-year contract for the said purpose. This would
require enormous sums of money though.
The successful planning and implementation efforts will yield dividends in two
years, or so.