If you think performance appraisal is a corporate exercise, you are sure to be off the mark. The process can also be applied in political parties to assess the efficiency of office-bearers and various committees. The All India Congress Committee (AICC), with the advent of the Rahul Gandhi era, has set the ball rolling, following which the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has issued a set of guidelines for monthly appraisal and reporting.

Known as “unit management,” to be implemented in Kerala and Gujarat initially on an experimental basis, the monthly reporting system will cover 67 KPCC office-bearers and 14 District Congress Committee (DCC) presidents in the first phase.

The decision to introduce the system was taken soon after discussions between KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala and AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi during the latter’s visit to Kerala two weeks ago.

The system has been introduced from May and the first report should be submitted to the KPCC by June 5. KPCC general secretary Thampanoor Ravi said the KPCC president had issued the guidelines to ensure comprehensive and time-bound monthly reporting.

KPCC general secretary Sajeev Joseph, who is the coordinator of the unit management, said the guidelines were mainly intended to bring in accountability of party office-bearers down the hierarchy. However, the party is yet to finalise the criteria for assessing the performance of the office-bearers. This will be prepared later to suit the Kerala conditions. Mr. Joseph said the Youth Congress had successfully implemented a similar system of assessment.

The system will have to be amended to suit the Congress party’s requirement. Going by the system implemented in the Youth Congress, the performance of the office-bearers will be assessed on the basis of a three-star system. Attendance at meetings, quality of programmes organised, benefits to the general public and grass-roots contacts were some of the key points mentioned in the guidelines. The guidelines clearly state that monthly meetings of various committees from KPCC downwards are mandatory. False reporting and delay or non-dispatching of report will be penalised.

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