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LegCo members pass BND385M PMO budget

Izah Azahari

Members of the Legislative Council (LegCo) unanimously passed a BND384,950,470 budget of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and its departments under it for the Financial Year 2022/2023 during the third day of the 18th Legislative Council session yesterday.

The proposed budget was delivered by the Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, who said the proposed allocation includes staff salaries and recurring expenditure that amount to BND361,333,260 and a supported development expenditure of BND23,617,210.

The minister said the PMO’s strategic outcomes, which align with the theme ‘Empowering Public Welfare Towards a More Resilient Socio-Economy,’ of the 2022/2023 financial year, focus on five goals – viable governance; national security and stability; government readiness; results that focus on the interests of the nation and society; and an excellent and strong organisation.

“The PMO has a key role in ensuring sound and effective governance of the government through strengthening coordination and cooperation in policy formulation in line with the whole-of-government approach,” said the minister under the viable governance goal.

This includes improving the work flow of human resource management in the public sector with the introduction of the Human Resource System (SSM); monitoring of vacancies in the civil service – which is undertaken through bilateral meetings with permanent secretaries of each ministry to identify common issues in process of filing vacancies; continuous initiative implementation by the audit department; and streamlining service delivery to the public at a time when movement control measures were in place following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the national security and stability goal, the minister said the PMO focusses on providing a conducive environment for socio-economic development and strengthening the security and stability of the nation through efficient enforcement, relevant laws and an effective justice system.

Under the government readiness goal, Yang BerhormatDato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew said the PMO also attaches importance to collaborative ties and relationships between government agencies, as well as the empowerment and management of the government workforce and assets, which include ensuring the continuity of the government’s key functions, particularly in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

For “results that focus on the interest of the nation and society”, the minister said the well-being of the people and residents has always been the focus, especially at this very challenging time in the COVID-19 pandemic situation that has affected the socio-economic development of the country.

Efforts to ensure the well-being of the people and residents include collaborative projects with training institutions and the industry sector through the Manpower Planning and Employment Council (MPEC), and formation of the Brunei Vision 2035 Social Blueprint by the PMO together with the National Council on Social Issues (MKIS).

The analysis of several issues, intended as a national reference for the future, has been made that will guide the policies and strategies of stakeholder agencies to ensure social development in the country is in line, integrated and sustainable with Brunei Vision 2035.

Under the goal of “an excellent and strong organisation”, the minister said the PMO continuously implements initiatives to achieve organisational excellence and productivity, including improving leadership talent management and enhancing skills in the civil service through development programmes.