‘Go digital to improve civil service efficiency’

PETALING JAYA: Standing at a size of 1.62 million, the concern of Malaysia’s civil service being bloated has been raised time and again, while scaling down is not on the cards, digitalisation might be the way to go when it pertains to improving effectiveness and performance.

Socio-Economic Research study Centre executive director Lee Heng Guie told SunBiz that while electronic-government (e-government) services have currently remained in place, there is a have to step up the efforts in that sector. This, he stated will ultimately result in the rationalisation of the size of the manpower.

“As we move towards the quick rate of innovation digitalisation and anything associated to electronic, artificial intelligence or the sharing economy principle … the number of individuals to serve the population might not be as large as exactly what we are seeing now,” he stated.

Bank Negara Malaysia kept in mind in its 2017 Yearly Report that changing the economy to become a digital frontrunner might create significant extra growth dividends of between US$ 100-US$136 billion (RM386-RM525 billion) yearly by 2025.

While the application of technology might be instrumental in improving effectiveness, it could likewise lead to task displacement.

Because light, Lee said there is a requirement for both the government and the corporate sector to relook what is considered as the right and lean workforce size, on the background of concerns such as displacement and structural unemployment arising from the improvement of innovation.

He included that while the federal government has taken actions such as working with for vital posts only, it ought to also be considering application of performance-based rewards and probationary durations.

Sunway University Service School Teacher of Economics Dr Yeah Kim Leng said besides improving abilities, quality of governance and organisational efficiency, the adoption of Industrial Revolution 4.0 in the general public sector through digitalisation, automation, artificial intelligence, data analytics and big data will help to raise performance and efficiency and efficiency of civil services shipment.

“We already have a number of worldwide well-known public service institutions such as the Employees Provident Fund for pension fund management, Bank Negara Malaysia for financial and monetary management, the Ministry of Health for main healthcare and the Department of Statistics for nationwide analytical reporting. Maybe we have to focus on efforts to attain quality in cops, judiciary, immi-gration and education services,” he said.On the impact of digitalisation, Yeah stated the composition of costs will have to be checked out, as more capital investments will be needed for ICT and digital innovation.

“Second of all, skill recruitment and human capital advancement will have to shift to structure digital ability, proficiencies and expertise. Finally, manpower requirements will either be lower due to displacement by innovation or the excess personnel has to be redeployed to other locations in the civil service as part of the best sizing and rebalancing strategy to develop a first-rate civil service,’ he explained.According to Yeah emoluments and pensions accounted for 47%of total operating expenditure in 2017 compared with 38%in 2010. This he said, will continue to rise if the federal government does not right-size the civil service. Under Spending plan 2018, the operating expenditure increased to RM234.5 billion from RM214.80 billion while emoluments increased to RM79.15 billion from RM77.40 billion.