Friday 17 February 2012

Administrative Service offers multiple entry routes

By Andrea Ong, The Straits Times, 15 Feb 2012

NEARLY all 190 appointees to the elite Administrative Service over the past decade came from other service schemes, including the Management Executive (MX) scheme, revealed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday.

He was responding to Mr Pritam Singh (Aljunied GRC), who asked, among other things, for a breakdown of the number of civil service officers who were transferred from the MX scheme to the Administrative Service from 2000.

In his written reply, PM Lee emphasised that the selection process for the Administrative Service is meritocratic and 'draws on the whole talent pool within the Public Service'.

There are thus multiple routes of entry, he said.

However, the main route of entry to the Administrative Service is the Management Associates Programme (MAP), introduced in 2002 to develop talent. Fresh graduates under this framework do not enter the Administrative Service directly. They are typically appointed on the MX scheme, the generic scheme for graduate officers, said PM Lee. Other management associates may be appointed to the professional services as economists or foreign service officers.

Management associates are considered for appointment to the Administrative Service only after three to four years. Other public officers from ministries, statutory boards and the military or police are also appointed to the Administrative Service every year, said PM Lee.

'Hence, most newly appointed AOs (administrative officers) would have started on the MX scheme or another scheme of service within the public sector,' he said.

Of the 190 appointments to the Administrative Service from 2002 to last year, there were 177 such appointees from other service schemes. The remaining 13 were appointed directly either during the transition to the MAP, or after a mid-career switch from the private sector. Entrants to the Administrative Service have ranged in age from 26 to 50, said PM Lee.

However, not all of those holding top positions in the public service are AOs. While all 22 permanent secretaries are AOs, only 21 of the 54 statutory board chief executive officers are AOs.

Of the 43 AOs who are permanent secretaries and statutory board CEOs, 22 entered the Administrative Service later in their careers, said PM Lee.

The question from Mr Singh, a Workers' Party (WP) MP, came in the wake of last month's ministerial pay debate. The WP proposed pegging ministers' pay to MX9 civil servants, which it felt was more representative of general wage levels.

However, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean rebutted the WP, saying MX9 officers are a small, select group whose salaries are pegged to people of similar seniority in the private sector.

No comments:

Post a Comment