Be ready for change in face of IR 4.0, says minister

Syazwani Hj Rosli

The 4th Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0) offers great potential in transforming the public service delivery process, particularly in providing an optimum delivery system that is more customer friendly, said Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud.

He made this statement at the Civil Service Conference 2019, themed ‘Strengthening of Public Service Integrity and Innovation in the Era of the 4th Industrial Revolution,’ at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) yesterday.

The minister said the IR 4.0 can contribute to the implementation of a smarter, more transparent, effective, and efficient customer service.

“These rapid technological changes also make it difficult for us to anticipate what will happen in the future. We need to always be aware and ready to change,” he said.

The minister said the number of Internet users in Brunei increases by the day. More businesses, including micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have already adapted the use of ICT and social media into their business strategies.

Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti said that according to the Authority for the Info-Communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) survey result, 42 per cent of local businesses have used ICT as a whole. It is even utilised as a key medium for connecting and delivering services to customers, such as Dart that conceptualises e-hailing through mobile phone applications.

“It is time for us all to intensify and work harder to move towards services that use digital technology. The civil service can increase productivity and ensure quality as well as guarantee pubic satisfaction,” he said.

“Talking about IR 4.0, among the hot topics discussed is how IR 4.0 is expected to impact the number of resources, where job opportunities in the digital era are more focussed on ICT knowledge. Brunei’s higher education system has begun to offer courses based on IR 4.0. Other government organisations should also be ready to take on the revolution challenge and proactively adapt it to the civil service – such as increasing investment in human capital and skills to transform the digital era and broad infrastructure to support innovation,” he said.

Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud delivers his speech. PHOTO: MUIZ MATDANI

Outreach programmes should continue to be implemented and strengthened to prepare the public service with development and advancement in fields relating to IR 4.0, the minister said.

He said leaders must be tech-savvy in applying ICT in their leadership style to become more agile in facing challenges.

“There is no denying that IR 4.0 has its good and bad. We must proactively overcome the negative effects of this revolution by preparing and restructuring the public service and implement innovative management that will facilitate the inclusion of public agencies in improving their service delivery systems,” the minister said.

He added that the future oriented public service will be highly dependent on the digital skills and ICT literacy in ensuring an efficient service delivery. Among the biggest challenges is whether the service people have the appropriate skills and knowledge to perform tasks that reflect new technology applications.

He stressed that civil servants need to think creatively and innovatively to improve their existing work processes in providing an efficient and effective service delivery. “They must always uphold the principles of integrity and transparency in every aspect of their work.”

“Innovations in IR 4.0 should be seen as a contributor to integrated solutions to the public service challenges where service delivery through digital technology can provide faster, efficient and competent services. We all need to work together to turn the public sector into an innovative and creative machinery where the public can interact with any agencies – such as with shopping or online socialising,” he said.

Earlier, the minister spoke on the Civil Service Institute (IPA) organising the conference as an effort that reflects its commitment and determination towards their role in equipping the public services in the country.

He added that the conference focusses on strengthening integrity and innovation and that, the use of technology and digital media to deliver services to the public such as cashless transaction can be seen as a driving force for transparency in promoting integrity in the public service. Innovation is an effective catalyst and contributes to better service delivery by the public service to the public.

“The success of several service projects that were well-received by the public (such as the ‘Facilitating Application for Vehicle Authorisation (Entry/Exit) Border Crossing through Control Posts that received the Silver Award for the Premiere Innovation Award (AIP)) is one of the examples of readiness, acceptance.”