A review of the application of SIADAP in the Portuguese AP - perceptions of evaluators and evaluated

In the wake of economic globalization, competitiveness, efficiency, effectiveness and quality have come to play a prominent role in work processes. In this way, according to the literature (Caetano, 1990; Ilgen, Barnes-Farell & McKellin, 1993; Dejours, 2003; Yasin & Gomes, 2010), evaluation has become an increasingly used instrument to measure, distinguish and increase performances. If this process was initially more present in the private sector, it quickly spread to the public sector and, within the latter, to public administrations (or public administrative sector). In this course, Portugal does not constitute an exception to the rule (Madureira, 2001, 2002; Madureira & Rodrigues, 2006, 2008).

As part of the public administration reform process, the XVI Constitutional Government created in 2004 the Integrated System for the Assessment of Performance in Public Administration (SIADAP), which would be revised by Law 66-B / 2007, of December 28. The great change advocated by this new approach to evaluation in the Portuguese Public Administration is based on the introduction of the logic of management by objectives, aligning the action of services, managers and workers in the pursuit of common objectives. In 2012, through Law 66-B, of December 31, which approved the State Budget for 2013, some changes were introduced in SIADAP, namely at the level of SIADAP 2 and SIADAP 3 evaluation cycles, which in the first case, came to be of five or three years, according to the duration of the commissions of service, while in the case of the workers took on a biennial character (article 49, ibidem). According to the legislator, transparency, impartiality and the use of objective evaluation criteria are fundamental principles for a good application of SIADAP, which originally presented as main objectives, among others, to promote the motivation of workers and managers, as well as to recognize and distinguish services, officers and employees on the merit of their performance. However, there is a widespread perception in the Portuguese public administration that the above objectives have not been fulfilled. Indeed, it is still far from being consensual what are the effects of the impact of SIADAP on the project of administrative reform, on the performance of workers, on the levels of motivation and satisfaction at work, on the commitment to the accomplishment of professional tasks, on a greater search for individual and organizational effectiveness and efficiency, on the objectification of the differentiation between performance by merit, on the exemption and neutrality of evaluations, on the accountability of managers and employees, on the identification of real training needs and, finally, on competitiveness and conflict within public agencies.


Objective and methodology

The present work intends to analyze the performance assessment phenomenon, the evolution of its conceptual definitions, the specificities and constraints that result from its application in the public sector, as well as to evaluate the 13 years of SIADAP implementation through the collection and analysis of the evaluators and those who have been evaluated' perceptions, through a questionnaire survey. After collecting, processing and discussing the data, it is hoped that this study may lead to some recommendations in order to best fit the existing performance evaluation system to the national Public Administration. Because it is an one-year study and because it may be too ambitious to try to apply the questionnaire to all public employees in the meantime, authors may choose to apply the questionnaire only in the Ministry of Finance. In this way the study could become a case study.

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External Partners
CIES-IUL - Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology
Data from Ciência-IUL