The Indian Banks\u2019 Association (IBA) on Thursday invited bids for the appointment of a consulting firm to assess the implementation of the government\u2019s Enhanced Access and Service Excellence (EASE) programme for public-sector banks (PSBs). According to a request for proposal (RFP) put out by the IBA, the banks will be monitored and measured on their performance across six themes \u2014 customer responsiveness, responsible banking, credit off-take, financing and bill discounting for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), financial inclusion and digitalisation, and human resources development. The RFP stated, \u201c.it is required to create a comprehensive and holistic methodology for measuring progress and assessing performance on the defined reforms agenda. In order to ensure this, IBA has decided to engage the services of a reputed management consultant firm to provide support to the department in suggesting a comprehensive measurement approach and coordinating the implementation of the same.\u201d The appointed firm will be required to carry out an assessment of the performance of each bank on the aforementioned action points, measure both absolute performance and improvement in the assessment period, utilise data sources, and drive focus on the quality of data collected from various sources to ensure authenticity of results. Bids must mention the implementation plan for delivering on each of these requirements. The deadline for submission of bids is June 1. The project is envisaged for a period of six months, beginning on the date of engagement. Capital infusion by the government has been tied to performance goals for PSBs, incorporating 30 action points on operational efficiency, portfolio diversification, smoother lending to small and medium enterprises and strict risk monitoring to avoid a pile-up of bad debts.