Key milestones and way forward for the WCO Working Group on Performance Measurement

30 octubre 2020

The WCO Working Group on Performance Measurement (WGPM) concluded the virtual session of its 2nd Meeting on 23 October 2020, following a document-based consultation that had provided robust foundations for future decision-making. The delegates of the 2nd Meeting of the WGPM acknowledged the work done to date in forging ahead with its assignment even in a time of crisis and updated its workplan as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the aim of preparing the ground for further steps towards ultimately establishing a comprehensive WCO Performance Measurement Mechanism (PMM).

Mr. Ricardo Treviño Chapa, Deputy Secretary General of the WCO, welcomed the delegates to the meeting and commended the ongoing work to develop the WCO PMM  and adopt a consistent approach in the design of such a mechanism, the objective being to establish a politically recognized, evidence-based, scored assessment mechanism that can be used to improve Customs performance while making an impact on economic development and the business environment at both national and international level. He also noted that “We have the ambition for our mechanism to be feasible and relevant for each national administration, taking into account the different perspectives at the regional level and the need to balance them into a globally significant evaluation.”

The meeting’s success was demonstrated by the high number of participants and the dynamic dialogue that confirmed Members’ keen interest in actively contributing to the establishment of the WCO PMM.

On the basis of a unanimous approach, the Working Group reached some of its key milestones, having agreed on the common dimensions of Customs performance to be prospectively measured by the PMM, with the corresponding expected outcomes providing a basis for further discussions. The WGPM also discussed and agreed on the mapping of the PMM dimensions and their relevant expected outcomes against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), enabling greater clarity on Customs’ role in contributing to a sustainable future through its performance, and positioning the future PMM – also with respect to its global impact – in line with the WCO theme of the year for 2020: “Customs fostering Sustainability for People, Prosperity and the Planet”.

While adopting a progressive approach, the WGPM also approved the selection of the main WCO tools whose application by Customs administrations would be assessed under the WCO PMM. Moreover, the WGPM agreed on the scope of and criteria for the key performance indicators (KPIs) to be used to measure Customs administrations’ performance under the PMM and further provided guidance to ensure a harmonized approach to the development of those KPIs with a view to measuring the implementation of WCO tools across all of the WCO working bodies.

The WGPM observed that the PMM would assist Customs administrations in their capacity building activities by serving as an evidence-based mechanism to assess their performance and identify capacity building gaps and needs, as well as by supporting the WCO in improving capacity building delivery. The Working Group also acknowledged the need for continuous improvement and adaptability of the evaluation framework, while emphasizing that the PMM should be considered as a living mechanism.

A critical mass of participation from Members and a cohesive uptake by the WCO membership will make it possible effectively to achieve the objective behind the establishment of the WCO PMM and meet the expectations of the international Customs community to facilitate strategic and evidence-based policy-making and ensure a sustainable impact on economic development and the business environment at both national and international level.