The impact of performance contracting on operational performance a case of selected ministries
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The Kenyan Public Service has come a long way, after the attainment of self government, the ministries were created and departments adopted to continue with service delivery and introduce the much awaited Africanization. Over the years the government has witnessed massive expansion in scope and complexity which called for reforms in order to handle the new needs. With the introduction of reforms in 1993 and the birth of performance contracting in the state corporation and government ministries both the government and the public expected improved service delivery through improving efficiency and effectiveness. This paper reviews literature on the history of performance management, public sector reforms in Kenya, and thereafter focuses on the introduction of performance contracting in Kenya. The paper further discusses performance contracting as both a management and a measurement tool, identifies successes and challenges of implementing the performance contract in Kenya and the future prospects. The study intends to ascertain the impact of performance contracting on operational performance. Using a structured questionnaire primary data was collected from a sample of 37 public servants selected from five ministries. The data was further processed and analyzed in line with the set objectives. The research finds that there's a general improvement in operational efficiency across the selected ministries since the introduction of performance contracts. However the results show varied levels of improvement across the studied ministries with The Ministry of Planning recording the highest level of improvement and Ministry of state the lowest. The study also attempts to rank stated challenges of performance contracting in Kenya in the order in which they affect the implementation of performance contracting, resource allocation and highly ambitious targets were identified as the most felt challenges. This research experienced several challenges with the major one being poor response rates by senior officers. This paper also failed to capture the external customers for ratings of the services since introduction of Performance Contracts. The researcher recommended that future researchers should target a larger sample and find a way of inducing respondents to cooperate for a comprehensive study.