Management Control: A DGTCFM Success Story

Published: Friday, 21 August 2015 15:36

Management control refers to the modern results-geared or objectives-based public management concept whereby the Head of a structure ensures that all the financial, material and human resources put at his/her disposal are effectively, efficiently and judiciously utilized in view to attain all the projected objectives entrusted to the structure. It is a managerial requirement of the programme-budget which the State has opted for in view to enable it ensure better results at every stage of the public service management chain. 

A sensitization and internalization seminar thereto for officials of the Ministry took place from the 19 to 20 March 2015 in Yaounde, at the Deliberations Hall of the Ministry of Finance and was presided over by the Minister Delegate to the Minister of Finance, Pierre Titi. The powers that be used the occasion to entreat these officials on the interest, mechanisms and methodology retained for the implementation of management control in view of its efficient functioning in accordance with the precepts laid down by the new Financial Regime of the State, which enforced the advent of the programme-budget. 

During the deliberations, the Directorate-General of the Treasury, Financial and Monetary Co-operation presented a paper on the state of implementation of management control at the level of the Directorate. The co-coordinator of the DGTCFM management control team, Mr Achille Bassahag during this presentation highlighted the strides made so far within this body.

The Directorate General of the Treasury, Financial and Monetary Co-operation has made remarkable progress as concerns the management control implementation process. The legal measures thereto are based on laws and regulations in force. In this respect, section 8 of law No. 2007/006 of 26 December 2007 relating to the Financial Regime of the State (FRS) spells out the notion of functions, programme, action and indicator as well as institutes performance control of the management of public bodies.  In the same vein, article 109 of Decree No. 2013/160 of 15 May 2013 on the General Regulations on Public Accounting (GRPA) stipulates the jurisdiction of management and control authorities while decree No. 2013/159 of 15 May 2013 relating to the Special Regime of administrative control of public finances states management control missions and actions in its articles 20, 21 and 22. It is also worthwhile mentioning here the decision hereafter: MINFI/SG/DS of 29 December 2013 to appoint Heads of programmes, Heads of actions within each programme and management controllers attached to each programme. 

In addition, service memo No. 088 of 21 July 2014 of the DGTCFM appointed a working group charged with the institution of management control within the DGTCFM. In this capacity, it identifies structures charged with the steering of management control at both the central and devolved levels. Its mission consists in setting up a management dialogue platform between the DGTCFM (Director General of the Treasury, Financial and Monetary Co-operation), ACCT (Accountant-General), PGT (Paymaster-General), TPG (Treasurers Paymasters-General), SRAM (Regional Units for Insurance and Monetary Affairs) as well as Heads of operational departments. This working group has produced the Instruction-guide on the organization of management control within the DGTCFM and finalized the State Management Control thereto. It has also carried out several sensitization field trips to operational units and organized two seminars for officials of operational units. 

At the DGTCFM, management control summarily refers to a steering process whereby a Unit Head makes projections on the attainment of his/her objectives by preparing, monitoring and analyzing in real time and retrospectively, the realisations of his unit and those attached to it in order to anticipate, explain and reduce to their barest minimum disparities between his/her real performance and forecasts. State Management Control (SMC) appears therefore as a steering measure, that is, one which helps to master risks through an optimal and co-ordinated conduct of actions of the operational unit. It is also a performance indicator because the SMC seeks to master the attainment of the objectives of the Directorate General and not just to carry out a coercive supervision of members of the operational unit. The SMC is thus presented as an organizational control arm at three levels: the first concerns strategic planning, which fixes guidelines on organization and strategies to attain its goals; the second ensures consistency between the strategy and daily activities in view to achieving the objectives of the structure while the third consists in ensuring the effective and efficient implementation of specific assignments.

             DGTCFM management control tools. 

SMC process tools are fixed by service memo No. 150 MINFI/ SG/DGTCFM of 12 November 2014 to organize the SMC within the DGTCFM. These tools comprise of the management referential, annual objectives letter, notification chart of objectives, indicators follow-up slip, management information chart and annual summary. The management or steering referential is drawn up based on the Performance Project of Entities (PPE) of the DGTCFM. This referential recalls the general objective, indicators, reference values as well as target values.  The annual objectives letter informs the Head of the operational unit concerned of the objectives assigned to him/her for the year by the Director-General.

The objectives notification chart is arrived at during management dialogue between the DGFTCM and Head of each operational unit. It is co-signed by both parties and is binding on them each in his own sphere, in view of the attainment of set objectives. In this light, the indicator follow-up slip kept per activity helps to measure the degree of attainment of the indicator at the level of the various assignments which make up the said activity. The management information chart succinctly outlines for each of the actions, the reference situation, target value, level of execution, as well as recommendations geared towards the attainment of set objectives. The SMC produces the annual summary at the end of the financial year and submits it to the Director General.

The management information chart of the management controller uses colours as indicators: red attracts the attention of the DG on the urgency of corrective measures to be taken, orange signals a domain to be supervised while green indicates that every thing is going on as planned (No Comment). 

In actual fact, management control per se is done in two phases: a priori control of consistency between action plans, PPE, steering referential, objectives notification chart and control in real time by reconciling results achieved ex post facto and objectives set ex ante. This control may lead to the institution of corrective measures in order to reconcile realizations to objectives; measure results achieved and evaluate performance. It may end with rewards and sanctions depending on the results obtained. At the level of stakeholders, the Director General is the kingpin of the setup; as addressee of the monthly management information chart which he appraises in real time, he eventually takes corrective measures in order to prevent flaws or malfunctions and thereby ensure the attainment of objectives. 

At the practical level of programme 272 entitled "State liquidity and debt management, public accounting and financing of the economy" whose objective is to improve on the efficiency of the Public Treasury and optimize the use of collected resources for the financing of the economy. It comprises six actions which seek to ensure a better financing of the economy and production of genuine information which reflect the patrimony of the State and its financial position. One of these actions which concerns liquidity management consists in honouring State commitments on time and at the least cost by respecting payment timeframes for claims which have moved from 90 to 60 days. In addition, these actions contribute in reinforcing the security of the public wealth or State financial resources in Treasury stations as well as enhance the efficiency of public debt management. 

Placed between the Director General and Heads of operational units, the management controller has as mission to ensure optimal evaluation of indicators produced by referent-collectors and put at the disposal of the Director General information which enable him to have a general overview and focus on the efficient management of  DGTCFM structures. 

At the level of the DGTCFM, the SMC from every perspective and despite all the shortcomings inherent in any pioneer endeavour of this nature thereby constitutes a success story. Notwithstanding, certain aspects of the structure need to be perfected, such as the formulation of results indicators in a simple, realistic and measurable manner; the synchronization between set objectives and means allocated, notably human, logistic and financial  resources; acceptance of the SMC function by Heads of operational units who may liken it to a gendarme or a spy, the great adaptability and flexibility of the entity in order to surmount the constraints of the SMC, which entail actions, reactions and rewards. 


      Rachel NGAH