Clearly, they're hunting down irregular publishers
I remember the announcement that we could now count 30mins/15mins in the ministry. Then lo and behold, the next yearbook shown that the ministry hours had shot up. Straight away i saw through that crap and wondered why our loving GB would need to stoop to that level. Now when you think about it, it also makes the inactive ones able to put in 15mins or so just to keep on them on the books.
Im quite glad my ministry reports were all fiction. Surely there's many more that do that?
Just to be "devil's advocate", another interpretation of the OP's graph is that, as growth slows, the difference between Peak Publisher and Av Publisher shrinks.
15 minute rule is for older or ill jws that can't put more time in. They have to be approved by the congregation service committee.
It is not for younger, healthier jws. But local jws make their own rules at times.
Km 3/02 p.5 par.6 "Gifts in Men" Eagerly Shepherd God’s Flock
6 Valuing the Infirm: Loving undershepherds are also concerned about those who could be overlooked. Associated with every congregation are some who are infirm, confined to nursing homes, or otherwise incapacitated. Their share in proclaiming the Kingdom message is understandably limited because of their circumstances. Perhaps their opportunity to speak out may come only through contacts with visitors, other patients, or caregivers. Nevertheless, whatever they are able to do is viewed as a valuable contribution to the overall preaching work. (Matt. 25:15) Even if they witness for just 15 minutes, this should be reported, and they will continue to be counted as regular Kingdom publishers.
Km 10/0 2p.8 par.6 How Congregation Book Study Overseers Show Personal Interest
6 As a Loving Shepherd: The book study overseer is interested in those who because of their circumstances are able to have only a small share in the preaching work. He makes sure that those who are very limited because of advanced age or because of being shut-ins and those who are temporarily limited because of serious illness or injury are aware of the provision that allows them to report field service time in 15-minute increments if they are not able to report a complete hour during one month. (The Congregation Service Committee determines who qualifies for this provision.) He also takes an interest in those assigned to the group who may be inactive, striving to help them resume their activity with the congregation.—Luke 15:4-7.
I do believe a letter was sent to all elders in 2001.
Now I see why the first century preaching Christians had to hand in a monthly publishing report card.
They probably had to scribe the report on to clay tablets though because paper was scarce .