This department was established by President Jacob Zuma in 2009 after an ANC resolution taken in Polokwane to hold the government to account and ensure it met targets of the five key priorities of government: education, rural development, housing, job creation and crime.
It falls under the presidency and helps the executive to monitor and evaluate itself.
Since its inception in April 2010, the department has put in place a number of monitoring and evaluation processes. Despite this, Collins
Chabane has been criticised for failing to ensure that ministers and departments perform to their expectations. He has also been criticised for not properly communicating the government`s service delivery record and successes.
However, it has become evident that the department does not have a mandate to sanction ministers and departments and is limited to identifying areas in which government programmes are working or failing.
There is no legislation for performance management provisions for the executive and it remains the prerogative of the president and the premiers, who appoint MECs.
The department`s mechanisms are opaque and include implementation forums in which ministers and senior officials discuss quarterly reports that examine data across the government to identify bottlenecks. Senior officials believe it will take time for the culture of monitoring and evaluation to take root in the government.
One tool the department uses is unannounced visits to government departments. They are aimed at demonstrating to departments that on-site monitoring should be used to inform improvements. Repeat visits are carried out and in some cases there have been marked improvements. The department published a mid-term review of progress in 2012.
The department also manages the presidential hotline, which it says has an 87% case-resolution rate.
Chabane`s department submits its reports to the Cabinet once a year, but there is still a sense that, despite all this work, we see little in the way of results from it.