Colombia: paving the way for a results-oriented public by World Bank

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Inevitably, however, public agency personnel at all levels will have less control over outcomes than outputs. It is critical that this is explicitly acknowledged. It is important for all those using performance measurement information, to recognize that most data on outcomes do not tell what caused the outcomes. Therefore, the extent to which public officials can be held fully accountable for outcomes is more limited. The program has an important role in producing successful outcomes, but inevitably external factors not under the control of the program may also have affected the outcomes.

The effort, which could probably take around 10 years to complete, has just recently been initiated with pilot projects in the Ministry of Finance, DNP and Ministry of Defense. Page viii Acknowledgements During the past three years, the Special Division for Evaluation (SDE) in the Department of National Planning (DNP) has been working in the definition and implemention of a National Evaluation System of Public Sector Performance (SYNERGY) in Colombia. In mid-1995, DNP requested the Bank to review the system and define proposals to strengthen SDE's strategy to pave the way for a results-oriented public sector in Colombia.

A new law has recently been enacted, Law 190 of 1995, to fight public service corruption. Finally, the Ministry of Financein conjunction with the Department of National Planning and the Central Bankis developing an Integrated Financial Information System which should enhance macroeconomic and fiscal policy analysis. All these initiatives indicate the enormous effort currently being undertaken in Colombia to develop a results-oriented public management framework. SYNERGY can and should take advantage of these efforts.

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