Home > PAP candidates, Problems caused by PAP's policy > Policy formation is not done by the Ministers (alone)

Policy formation is not done by the Ministers (alone)

Source: Yahoo News.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean urged the Public Service Division to review the way policies are formulated for Singaporeans.

DPM Teo, the minister in charge of the civil service, was speaking to public officers, civil servants and agencies at the Excellence in Public Service Award Ceremony on Friday.

He said that the recent watershed General Election has shown that there is a “a clear desire by the electorate for their voices to be heard.”

DPM Teo also believes that the Public Service has a key role to play to transform how the government governs and the way polices are formulated and delivered. He agrees that it should be done in a way that ensures policy-makers “listen more” and “connect with the citizens”.

“As the Singapore society becomes more diverse and what our citizens want and expect become more wide-ranging, the challenges faced by our Public Service will also grow in terms of magnitude and complexity,” said DPM Teo.

He added that it would be impossible for the Service to try and solve problems on their own and should instead, tap on the public for suggestions.

The minister suggested for the Service to tap on the collective wisdom and knowledge of the people and stakeholders involved. This way, polices designed would resonate better with citizens who are on the receiving end of the policy.

He said: “We need to create an environment where public officers can work hand-in-glove with the people they serve to address the issues and create greater public value.”

DPM Teo reasoned that such a way can help create a Singapore where citizens can feel engaged and have shared ownership of the challengers and look for solutions together.

He gave the example of Northlight School where parents, potential employers of the students and other stakeholders are actively engaged to design a programme for students with learning difficulties.

Awards were given to 19 organisations and 103 individuals. They ranged widely from town councils to schools and attachés to probation officers.

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And here we have Minister Teo Chee Heng admitting in public that policies are not formulated by ministers. This article seems to suggest that Minister Teo is insinuating that the Public Service Division (PSD) should be responsible for all that policy flaws while tai-ji-ing away the responsibility of the ministers. Such suggestion is flawed as ministers are the ones who review the policies formulated, filter through, and present them at Parliament. In any case, PSD encompasses the government as well.

Another important point to note here is: The DPM has revealed that the civil service will keep policy formulation and execution operational. In an event we have a change in political party in power, the government will continue to operate. We must differentiate the government and the political party. Government encompasses both the political party in power and the civil service. In short, Singapore is larger than PAP.

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