The role of performance contracting in improving the quality of service delivery in the Ministry of Land adjudication and settlement in Coast Province Kenya.
Mbwana, Janet C
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Kenya introduced performance contracting not only to improve service delivery but also to refocus the mind set of public service away from a culture of inward looking towards a culture of business as focused on customer and results. This study traces some of the factors why performance management is being taken up rapidly in developing countries, the history of public service reforms and the genesis of performance contracting in Kenya. It attempted to demonstrate the applicability of performance contracts in the public sector. The research study therefore sought to assess the role of performance contracting in improving the quality of service delivery in the public sector in Kenya: the case of department of Lands adjudication and settlement in coast province. The key areas of the study were to assess the role of performance target setting in improving the quality of service delivery, to establish the role of financial resource allocation and to determine the role of staffing levels in improving the quality of service delivery which are critical in the delivery of service. A cross sectional survey was conducted in the three districts notably Kilifi, Kwale and Taveta. Questionnaires were administered through interview schedules to a sample of 108 respondents drawn from the Ministry of Lands, the committee members and the beneficiaries to ascertain how performance contract affects the Lands activities. They indicated that target setting in the implementation of performance contracting had a positive impact in improving the quality of service delivery as described below: On average the number of registered schemes increased from 9 schemes before the implementation of performance contract to 38 schemes after the implementation of performance contract. This reflects to 322% increase. The number of final Land adjudication increased from 5 to 28, marking an increase of 460%. The number of loan recovery also realized an average increase of 555%. Findings on Land cases revealed an average decrease of 53%. While the number of discharges marked an average increase of 49%. The study recommended that though target setting was seen to have improved the quality of service delivery in the public service, cascading of the targets should flow from bottom to top. The current system shows that targets are as if are imposed to the lower cadre by the policy makers. To make the system create a sense of ownership, the flow of the targets should be reversed. Targets setting should be done in consideration to the available resources and those targets should be self reliant to the department and should not depend on other departments. Human resource is vital for the effective and efficient operation of an organization, the government should employ adequate qualified staff so as to realize quality service delivery to the public. There should be equal opportunity for training and Development to all levels. The Government should properly prepare its workers for succession at leadership level; otherwise this may result in losing institutional memory at the policy making. All workers, at all levels should be trained in Information communication technology (lCT) so that all are competent to their work and move with the new technology. There should be no political interference in the operations of the Public service. The government should restructure the reward and recognition schemes to directly relate to the achievement and it should be timely and proportional to the level of performance and reach the performers directly.