Singapore

Cultivate innovation for better public service: DPM Teo

Be unafraid to question the orthodox way of doing things, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean told public officers yesterday, as he urged them to cultivate innovation until it becomes second nature.

"We must find better ways to deliver public services before we get disrupted by technology, the market, or by what our citizens expect," he said.

They need to work across Government agencies, with industry and the public, he added in his address to 600 public servants at the annual Public Service Leadership Programme dinner held at the Shangri-la Hotel last night.

DPM Teo, who is also Minister-in-charge of the Civil Service, suggested three crucial areas when striving to provide tip-top service.

One, policies have to be executed well, because that is how the public "perceives us and perceives the policies that we develop".

Two, public servants have to find better ways to serve the public, and public agencies must put the needs of their consumers first and pool resources. This could include ways that might seem disruptive, said DPM Teo, citing the Smart Nation & Digital Government Office working with agencies to hasten the adoption of technology solutions.

Third, public servants have to take pride and ownership of what they do.

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