PUTRAJAYA, Oct 19 – In order to be more effective, the public sector must periodically review and refine approaches to governance, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. He emphasised that effective governance arrangements and practices were important in enabling a strong, sustainable and accountable public service.
It would also position public sector agencies to achieve the best results for the government, consistent with their respective legislative and policy requirements, he said.
“At the same time, they must focus on performance that encompasses efficient, effective and sustainable delivery,” he said in his keynote address opening the 2014 biennial conference of the Commonwealth Association of Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre here today. The conference coincides with CAPAM’s 20th anniversary.
Muhyiddin said that in facing the multi-faceted challenges in delivering programmes and services to citizens, public service needed to innovate and effectively manage risks in the face of financial constraints. “It needs to engage constructively with stakeholders and citizens in the delivery of programmes and services. It needs to collaborate strategically within and across boundaries to address complex issues,” he said.
Muhyiddin pointed out that a global megatrend that impacted all governments today was the empowerment of the individual. Increasing income, rising levels of education, as well as a networked technological environment had contributed to a highly motivated citizenry that demanded a higher quality of service from the government and service providers, he said.
“Today, the average citizen is an informed citizen, who can access and share information as well as engage in the discourse on any subject of interest, both within and across boundaries. “They not only expect an efficient delivery of quality service, but also seek a higher degree of interaction and participation in decision-making processes,” he said.
Muhyiddin said it was anticipated that this pattern would continue over the next decade, ushering a new era in human history with an ever-expanding middle class. In view of that, citizen engagement was also vital in the planning and implementation of government programmes, he added. “Listening to and understanding user needs through customer insight, and delivering the outcomes that people want, require new modes of operation,” he said.
Touching on CAPAM, the deputy prime minister said the non-profit organisation had a critical role in enhancing public sector governance capabilities and promoting organisational cultures that could respond readily and resourcefully to changing priorities. Muhyiddin congratulated Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa on his election as the new president of CAPAM for the 2014-2016 term.
About 1,500 delegates from 53 countries are attending the three-day conference which started Sunday. The conference is organised in collaboration with the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) and Commonwealth Secretariat and carries the theme of ‘Public Service Transformation: A New Conversation’.