Civil Service told to shed its negative image
| Hakim Hayat |
IF THE negative perception associated with the Civil Service, coupled with bureaucracy due to lengthy and cumbersome workflow and procedures, is not stamped out it will continue to tarnish the public’s perception of the Civil Service, the Minister of Finance II at the Prime Minister’s Office said.
“The reality is that we keep on hearing some of the public’s grievances on the quality of service being delivered. It has always been deemed as slow, less efficient, uncommitted and irrelevant with the pace of time and is not customer friendly. A number of our customers still expect a better, faster, effective, impeccable and straightforward service delivery,” Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awg Haji Abd Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim said in a speech at the launching of the Ministry of Finance (MoF)’s Customer Day at the MoF Building yesterday.
Minister of Finance II at the Prime Minister’s Office Pehin Dato Awg Haji Abd Rahman at the Royal Customs and Excise booth. – PHOTOS: BAHYIAH BAKIR
He added that this disappointing issue has always been a matter of concern which should be eradicated to uphold and maintain the Civil Service’s image. “One way is to enhance the level of commitment and integrity of the Civil Service officers and staff so that they can be more proactive, responsible, disciplined and responsive to changes and public’s expectations,” he said.
Earlier in his speech, the minister highlighted the Civil Service’s vital role in the country’s development. “It has to be efficient and smart and must look ahead in fulfilling requests and expectations of its customers, especially in these times of rapid modernisation where customers’ expectations are increasing and becoming more sophisticated.”
The minister also urged the MoF and its department’s workforce to continuously strive to increase their level of commitment in exploring opportunities that can pave way to steps in improving the level of service in their respective organisations. “This includes devising strategies that are adaptive in nature to ensure all existing operational systems, processes and work procedures will be re-evaluated and reviewed from time to time in ensuring relevance to changes, time and environment. This is in line with the ‘good governance’ concept that does not just contribute to increase in productivity, even integrity and discipline of Civil Service on the whole,” he said.
Pehin Dato Awg Hj Abdul Rahman in a group photo with finance officers
The minister also urged Civil Servants to optimise the use of latest technology as a tool that can enable effective, faster and seamless service delivery. “In the implementation of reforms and improvement leading to the modernisation of service delivery, Civil Servants must practise open attitude, positive thinking and be aware of the rapid developments in information and communication technology today. They need to understand the needs or preferences of the customers, private sector, non-governmental organisations and the public,” he added.
Touching on the flagship project by the ministry, the Brunei Darussalam National Single Window (BDNSW), which was launched yesterday, the minister said it is envisaged as an online platform for the exchange and delivery of information between entrepreneurs or the public and government agencies, which simplifies declarations, verification and approval with the use of just one declaration. “We hope this will contribute to an improvement in Brunei’s ranking in the Ease of Doing Business Annual Report, especially in the ‘Trading Across Borders’ indicator,” he said.
The minister also welcomed the Administration Section of the MoF’s publication of a brochure for ‘Guidelines on Attending Customers via Telephone’ yesterday. “We hope this will encourage the practice of a customer-friendly culture and professionalism in answering calls and in attending customers, towards enhancing the image of MoF and its departments.”