Lianhe Zaobao: Government sets up Centre for Shared Services
LHZB gave a comprehensive report on the CSS and its launch which was held yesterday. The translation of the report is attached below.
Pull-out quote: The Centre for Shared Services will bring in new officers in two phases. The first phase took place in April this year and brought in 350 staff members from 18 government agencies and statutory boards to take care of human resource and finance operations for the organizations.
The Ministry of Finance has set up a new department called the Centre for Shared Services – Vital and estimates that it can achieve cost savings on behalf of participating government agencies of about 15%.
The CSS will complete its staff intake in two phases.
The first phase took place in April this year and brought in 350 staff members from 18 government agencies and statutory boards to take care of human resource and finance operations for the organizations.
The second phase will take place in April 2007 and will involve 200 staff from another 20 government agencies and statutory boards to serve these organizations.
The new department took one year to set up and cost $1 million. The yearly expenditure of providing HR and Finance services to other government agencies is expected to cost $25 million to $30 million. Its HR services include appointment administration, compensation and benefits administration, superannuation administration, payroll and claims administration, training and scholarships administration while its finance services include accounts accounts payable, accounts receivable, general ledger maintenance, fixed assets maintenance and billing and collection. The department is housed at MND Complex.
A paragraph containing a brief mention of MINDEF’s shared services centre follows.
A paragraph containing a brief background of the CSS being first mentioned in PM Lee’s Budget Statement 2005 follows.
MOS(F) was the Guest-of-Honour at the launch. MOS was reported as saying to reporters that the objective of setting up the new department was not solely for cost savings but to rationalize the existing procedures so that the public service can provide better service to the public and raise the service level of the various agencies. Parts of MOS’ speech were also reported. MOS exhorted the CSS to go beyond prevailing rules and adopt the most efficient implementation methods as well as technology to save on manpower as well as re-engineer and streamline processes. Otherwise, if CSS does not perform up to expectations, agencies could opt for another provider or decide to perform the functions themselves.
The report also covered the speech made by CE CSS and DS(PF). The report focused on the three challenges for the CSS that he mentioned: cost savings of 15% for the departments; ensuring that the 350 officers from different organizations interact harmoniously at work; and minimizing the retrenchment factor. The report noted his comments that unless an officer could not take on a new position, retrenchment would be the last solution. It also quoted Mr Lim as saying that “rationalizing job procedures does not mean that people will have to be retrenched because we can increase the scope of services, value-add for the services provided and even extend the customer base to private sector organizations. All these will require manpower.”
The report ended with a final paragraph describing how the first intake of staff involved giving the staff a choice about joining the CSS. The report mentioned that 90% of those approached chose to join the department and that there were no retrenchments. The same arrangement will be applied to the second intake.
Last updated on 7 Jul 2006