SENIOR officers from the civil services of Brunei Darussalam and the Republic of Singapore gathered yesterday for the 16th Second Echelon Brunei Darussalam-Singapore Service Civil Exchange Programme 2018 to share their experiences and discuss new ideas in increasing efficiency in the civil service.
This year’s programme, which carries the topic ‘Productivity and Efficiency through Public Private Partnership (PPP)’, is being held at The Rizqun International Hotel, Gadong.
Leading the Brunei delegation was Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Communications Dr Haji Supry bin Haji Awang Ladi, while the Republic of Singapore delegates were led by Tan Li San, the Deputy Secretary (Industry and information) of the Republic of Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information.
Dr Haji Supry, speaking at the event opening ceremony, highlighted, “This programme started way back in 2002. It has been consistently organised by both countries annually with different themes every year and hosted alternately between our two countries. This year, Brunei Darussalam is very pleased to host our friends from Singapore. The theme this year is indeed very timely for Brunei Darussalam.”
He continued, “The selection this year’s event topic takes into account the Public Private Partnership (PPP) – including the concept and establishment of statutory bodies – contained under the Civil Service Framework Unit (CSF) through the theme ‘Organisational Performance and Productivity’ to ensure the effectiveness of work processes to facilitate socio-economic development.
“It also deals with the implementation of a new model for the delivery of public services through the New Public Service Model sub-initiative. The theme also falls in line with some of the Brunei government’s ongoing efforts to corporatise and privatise several agencies and services.”
Dr Haji Supry point out as well how the implementation of best practices in the public services through the use of the PPP method has helped “reduce development expenditure for the government, resulted in savings on management expenses, improved productivity and efficiency of service delivery, as well as reduced bureaucracy, increased transparency and accountability”.
Dr Haji Supry added that he and his Bruneian colleagues are looking forward to engaging closely with their Singaporean counterparts on the subject matter during the four-day programme.
“We envy this opportunity to further improve on the implementation of PPP and corporatisation policies and privatisation in the country through best practices and lessons learnt from Singapore. Singapore as we know has vast experience in the implementation of numerous projects via PPP in this area,” he said.
The PPP method combines the skills and resources of both the public and private sectors through the sharing of risks and responsibilities. This enables the government to benefit from the expertise of the private sector and allows them to focus on policy, planning and regulations by delegating day-to-day operations and tasks.
As part of the programme, the participants will also learn about PPP in terms of project screening and basic financial modelling, as well as engage in group exercises to understand the PPP negotiation processes and explore PPP initiatives implemented in Brunei Darussalam.