Sunday, 4 January 2009

The Singapore Civil Service

I found this on a Singapore government website, many civil servants probably don't even know this.

Code of Conduct

Our Mission

  • We work with the elected Government to shape Singapore 's future, forge a common vision among Singaporeans and transform the vision into a reality.
  • We safeguard the independence, sovereignty, security and prosperity of Singapore.
  • We uphold justice and equality, guided by the principles of incorruptibility, meritocracy and impartiality.

Our Goals

  • We build a dynamic, successful and vibrant nation of excellence, with a safe, secure and stable environment.
  • We create the best conditions for Singapore to succeed and for Singaporeans to attain high standards of living.
  • We foster a cohesive and harmonious society, based on respect, care and concern for fellow citizens.

Our Beliefs

  • Respect for individual staff members is the first prerequisite for outstanding service and whole-hearted commitment.
  • Change is essential for continuously maintaining and improving Singapore 's international competitiveness in the global economy.
  • Excellence drives us to be the best that we can be in all that we do.
  • Learning from others, feedback and mistakes is the best way to benefit from experience.
  • Leadership, which is bold, discerning and open to new ideas and insights, is crucial for steady progress and superior achievement.

Our Customers

  • We provide quality service with commitment to serve with CARE – Courtesy, Accessibility, Responsiveness and Effectiveness.
  • We treat our customers fairly and honestly, with high standard of professionalism, integrity and service.
  • We do our best to help our customers and meet their needs.

Our Staff

  • We value our staff. We maximise their potential through continuous training and development.
  • We encourage them to continuously improve their knowledge, skills and capabilities.
  • We offer our staff challenging and worthwhile responsibilities.
  • We expect them to show commitment, resourcefulness and enterprise.
  • We provide them with the tools, resources and environment to do a good job.
  • We require our staff to work well with others. We can develop sound plans and implement them effectively only when people at different levels with diverse abilities, work closely together.

We work together for a first-class Public Service – capable, innovative and
forward-looking – one of the best in the world, worthy of Singapore

Officers in the Civil Service are required to comply with the Code of Conduct and like all other Singapore citizens, are also subject to the laws of the land.

Public officers who misconduct themselves are dealt with by the PSC under the Public Service (Disciplinary Proceedings) Regulations. These Regulations set out the procedures for dealing with the various types of offences.

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Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also Minister in charge of the civil service,said in Parliament, "We have a first class public service which is the envy of many other countries. We should not be afraid to criticise it and ..... make suggestions to improve it......"

But MP for Pasir Ris-Punggul GRC Penny Low said our civil servants lacked IEQ (innovation and emotional quotient), only knowing how to 'Just follow Law' at work. ....anything that is within the norm and in the box is processed with little difficulty or delay. However, if a proposal or query is out of the box, it gets lost in the wilderness or unnecessarily delay. So there has been limited room for creativity and mistakes.

"People on the other hand, are creative and think out of the box from time to time. So when met with the clinically-correct bureaucracy that fails to treat them like creative and emotional human beings, they can be frustrated."

MP Penny Low feels the civil service still holds a 'rather rigid and top-down approach when we should be more service-oriented.'

Former senior civil servant Ngiam Tong Dow (The Straits Times,2003) said, "Some civil servants behave like they have a mandate from the emperor. We think we are little Lee Kuan Yews."

The Singapore civil service is bureaucratic, rigid, kiasu, kiasi, especially when it becomes obvious that it is not changing with the times.

Our elected Members of Parliament act as a bridge between the community and the Government by ensuring that the concerns of their constituents are heard in the Parliament. Surprising find, not every MP speak up in Parliament during their term.

(The Straits Times)