UNDP and Union Civil Service Board host ASEAN dialogue on civil service transformation

Sep 25, 2014

Discussions on the importance of improving public sector performance

[Yangon- September 25] The Union Civil Service Board and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) hosted the ASEAN Good Governance Forum in Yangon today. This was part of the ASEAN Civil Service Matters Conference, which aims to enhance regional cooperation for effective and efficient civil services and good governance.

The Forum heard from six different speakers from Malaysia, Myanmar, South Korea and UNDP’s Global Centre for Public Service Excellence in Singapore on the importance of civil service transformation in improving public sector performance to deliver citizens priorities. It was attended by 150 participants, including members of ASEAN civil service delegations, representatives from the Government and Civil Service of Myanmar as well as development partners.

His Excellency U Kyaw Thu, Chairman of the Union Civil Service Board talked about the ongoing transformation in Myanmar, explaining that civil servants need to be responsive to the needs of the people. “Motivated, capable and professional civil service personnel can help us to become a government that governs well,” he said. Emma Morley, Team Leader for Democratic Governance in Myanmar added, “An administration is made of its people, and investing in the people, as the Government here in Myanmar is doing, can only yield positive results - Forums such as this help build on the great knowledge and variety of experience within ASEAN to help Myanmar in this investment.”

Both Malaysia’s and Myanmar’s experiences in establishing delivery units to tackle public sector problems were discussed. Chris Tan of Malaysia’s Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU), told participants about how the government held public forums with over twenty-nine thousand citizens and private sector representatives, taking on board their feedback before approving Malaysia’s National Transformation Programme to improve economic growth. Dr Zaw Oo, Presidential Advisor, talked about the importance of delivery units in Myanmar to avoid ‘ministerial silos’, and of cross-government working to solve problems and to deliver results.

The importance of ethics and integrity in the civil service were also discussed. U Than Tun, Member of the Union Civil Service Board, noted that civil servants need to hold themselves and each other to a high ethical standard. Mr. Kim of the Korean Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission explained that Korea ¬has established hotlines and internet portals to collect public complaints- an idea Myanmar is also interested in, according to Dr. Zaw Oo.

UNDP’s work in the area of public administration is financially supported by the governments of Australia and Denmark.

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