Singapore`s Civil Service - Astana Economic Forum 2013

Report
Singapore’s
Civil Service
A Tenuous Beginning:
Independence in 1965
The STRATEGY

- Link up with the Developed World

- Have them do their
manufacturing in Singapore

- Transform Singapore from a 3rd
World to a 1st World in a 3rd World
Oasis (then)
Fast Forward …
Today

Numerous accolades

Quality of Institutions: WEF ranked Singapore tops (2008)

Public housing: UN Public Service Award

Health system: Ranked 6th in 2006 by WHO

e-Government: 1st in e-government by Accenture (2007)

Public Utilities Board: Stockholm Industry Water Award (2007)

Infrastructure: Best infrastructure for cities by Mercer

Government spending: Least wasteful

Government regulation: Least burdensome

Policy-making: Most transparent
Unique Mental Model

Singapore’s Civil Service quickly
developed a unique mental
model characterized by:
1)
Sense of urgency that
galvanized all for our survival
was (and still is) at stake
2)
Accountability where upon
excuses are not accepted with no
letting up on continuous fast paced
improvements
Relentless Strengthening
of the Civil Service


There was and is a clear
realization that the
political leadership can only deliver on
it promises through their Public
Servants.
Hence, it is in the interest of the Government
as well as the interest of the nation to have a
Public Service that continues to be
strengthened to perform and deliver services to its
people.

This has been done RELENTLESSLY
At the CORE:
The Singapore Administrative Service:
Crème de la crème
►
Brain and the heart of the Civil Services.
►
The Division responsible is managed at the Prime
Minister’s Office.
►
Strong focus that they be aware of 1) social issues
2) have a deep understanding from the
experiences of other countries on policy making &
its impact (especially the unintended
consequences) and 3) appreciate the challenges
faced by corporations, SME’s, etc.
For instance, the Head of the Civil Services.

Singapore Administrative Service:
Crème de la crème
Peter Ong Boon Kwee
Head of Civil Service
Finance & Taxation
1. Permanent Secretary,
Ministry of Finance
2. Chairman of Inland
Revenue Authority of
Singapore
3. Director of Monetary
Authority of Singapore
4. Director at DBS Bank
Ltd
5. Director at TIF Ventures
Pte Ltd
Security
1. Permanent Secretary
(National Security and
Intelligence Coordination)
2. 2nd Permanent
Secretary of Ministry of
Defence
National Development
1. Permanent
Secretary of Ministry
of Trade & Industry
(age 38)
2. Director at
Singapore
Telecommunication
s Ltd
3. Singapore Power Ltd
PSD, PSC, and CSC
CPIB
ELD
NCCS
Prime Minister’s
Office (PMO)
NRF
NSCS
NPTD
Public Service
Division (PSD)
Civil Service
College (CSC)
Public Service
Commission (PSC)
Identify, Attract & Recruit
Public Service Leaders
Specialist track leaders
Mid-career entrants
The Administrative Service
In-service nominations
Management Associates Programme
1) Scholarship
Holders
(main source)
2) Serving Officers
3) Open Market
recruits
Highlights -- Nurturing talent:
External Commercial
Postings
• Posted out on a
regular basis to
commercial
organizations
• Both governmentlinked companies &
private companies
• Better understand
the needs of
business and assess
impact of
government
policies &
regulations
External Community
Posting
• Community
Attachment
Scheme
• Familiarize civil
servants with
concerns &
expectations of
citizens
• Postings to grass
root and welfare
organizations
Overseas exposure
• Represent
Singapore in
overseas
conferences &
seminars
• Exposure offers a
chance to learn &
exchange best
practices with
international
counterparts
Highlights -- Appraisal
System:
Performance = Efficiency &
Effectiveness
Current Estimated
Potential (CEP)
“The current estimate of the
highest level at which an
administrator can finally be
expected to perform successfully,
assuming unlimited opportunities.”
H elicopter
A nalysis
I magination
R eality
CEP
D
Permanent Secretary
C
E
CEP
Director
MAO
F
A
B
20
25
30
35
Age
40
"I am in favour of efficient service. The
brighter chap goes up and I don't care
how many years he has been in or he
hasn't been in. If he's the best man for
the job, put him there" - Lee Kuan Yew,
1961
Clean Wage

Govt’s financial liability to its officers is
entirely discharged upon retirement

Hence, we have done away with
Pensionable Schemes

In clean wage, we have also done away
with benefits such as housing
Salary Benchmarking for
Top Civil Servants

Salaries of Administrative Officers are pegged to salaries of
top earners six professions in the private sector.

The six professions are
1.
Bankers
2.
Lawyers
3.
Accountants
4.
Engineers
5.
Employees of Multi-National Corporations
6.
Local manufacturers
Ethos of a Civil Servant:
1) Civil Servants recognize that they will not and cannot let the
public down.
2) They cannot betray the trust of the public.
3) Learn from the world, implement the best. And then,
innovate.
4) As a result, people’s expectations go up. The Civil
Service embraces that.
5) AND, they Keep grooming the next generation to
meet the HIGHER EXPECTATIONS.
Examples of our Best
Practices

Institutional memory

Whole of Government Approach

Root Cause Analysis by mid career Civil Servants

One pass Country

Email access from PM to Permanent Secretary
and more

One point contact – lead agency

One stop business licensing portal

Inland Revenue Auto-Inclusion Scheme
Whole-of-Government
Approach
Future-oriented, horizon-scanning,
planning for the unknown
 “Networked government” the
catchphrase of the Public Service in
the 2000s
 Homefront Crisis Management
System



SARS Crisis
The National Security Coordination
Secretariat

Terrorism

DPM Teo Chee Hean is Coordinating
Minister

PS (National Development) Benny
Lim, Perm Sec for NSIC
Service in Civil Service


One-pass country;

Singpass enables
ordinary
Singaporeans to use
it for multiple activity
sessions

filing taxes

checking provident
fund status
Publicized service
performance standards
& contact details
eGovernance

Efficiency gains from implementation of OBLS
Improvements
Reduction of licenses
11
Conversion of licenses into ‘life-time
licenses” (e.g. factory licence)
2
Energy Market Authority
Licence for electricity generation
Application process reduced
6 months  6 weeks
Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority
Fish culture farm license
Application process reduced
3 months  3 days
Accounting & Corporate Regulatory
Authority
Company registration process
5 days  2 hours
Reduction in license fees
Flat fee of S$300, down from
S$1,200
Reduction in average approval
processing time
65%; from an average of 21 to 8
days
Conclusion

Compelling vision moved the willingness
of the government to perform and the
people to trust

Government/public service delivered

Key processes
 Statistics
 Audit
(basis for logic and analysis)
(ethics/financial impropriety)
 Impact
evaluation (keep improving)
 Supervision
(ensure implementation)
Singapore has been able
to:
PERFORMANCE = POTENTIAL – INTERFERENCE
EXPECTATIONS = AWARENESS + ACCOUNTABILITY
BUT We have still much to do …
Thank You
Presented by

Sukhvinder Singh Chopra
[email protected]
In partnership with

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