Lam pro­poses HK’s Civil Ser­vice Academy

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By SO­PHIE HE in Sin­ga­pore so­phiehe@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Car­rie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said she plans to es­tab­lish a Civil Ser­vice Academy to en­sure Hong Kong’s 170,000-strong civil ser­vice can ad­vance with the times.

On the se­cond day of her visit to Sin­ga­pore on Thurs­day, which is her first of­fi­cial over­seas trip as CE, she vis­ited Sin­ga­pore’s Civil Ser­vice Col­lege. She told a me­dia brief­ing that she wants to es­tab­lish a sim­i­lar or­ga­ni­za­tion in Hong Kong in the short term.

“In this term of gov­ern­ment, I want to set up a ded­i­cated civil ser­vice academy or col­lege to pro­vide more train­ing for our civil ser­vants in sev­eral ar­eas like lead­er­ship, public par­tic­i­pa­tion and also the ap­pli­ca­tion and the use of tech­nol­ogy,” Lam said.

In any in­sti­tu­tion that has been well es­tab­lished for many years and do­ing things in the same way for many years, es­pe­cially when it is sub­ject to some con­straints, it is not easy to “think out­side the box” and try new ways, she ex­plained.

While man­ag­ing 170,000 civil ser­vants in Hong Kong, the gov­ern­ment has the duty to give them more train­ing, pro­vid­ing them with skills and the nec­es­sary ex­pe­ri­ence, Lam said.

The idea is at a very pre­lim­i­nary and con­cep­tual stage; the CE plans to dis­cuss it with the Civil Ser­vice Bu­reau af­ter she comes back to Hong Kong, she said.

On the same day, Lam also vis­ited the Gov­ern­ment Tech­nol­ogy Agency (GovTech) of Sin­ga­pore. She said her visit to GovTech was to iden­tify learn­ing, ex­change and col­lab­o­ra­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties with the city-state in the in­no­va­tion and tech­nol­ogy fields.

She noted that Hong Kong has a sim­i­lar setup to Sin­ga­pore’s GovTech, and in late 2015 the gov­ern­ment es­tab­lished the In­no­va­tion and Tech­nol­ogy Bu­reau.

Lam said if Hong Kong wants to re­main com­pet­i­tive and be­come a smart city, there is a huge po­ten­tial for wider ap­pli­ca­tion of tech­nol­ogy.

“I look for­ward for more ex­changes and col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Hong Kong and Sin­ga­pore,” she said.

When she vis­ited the GovTech Hive, she asked Sin­ga­pore of­fi­cials about en­cour­ag­ing gov­ern­ment agen­cies to ap­ply more tech­nolo­gies and share data.

She pointed out that Hong Kong res­i­dents have to in­ter­act with many gov­ern­ment agen­cies separately but us­ing the same data, and there should be a so­lu­tion for th­ese kinds of repet­i­tive reg­is­tra­tions.

Chan Cheow Hoe, deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive of GovTech, told Lam that their so­lu­tion is to build “pipes” be­tween gov­ern­ment agen­cies so if one gov­ern­ment agency needs some in­for­ma­tion from an­other, they could send the re­quest through the pipe, and with per­mis­sion also ob­tain in­for­ma­tion through the pipe. The process could be done within sec­onds.

The CE also met Prime Min­is­ter of Sin­ga­pore Lee Hsien Loong on Thurs­day and dis­cusses is­sues of mu­tual con­cern.

IN­FOR­MA­TION SER­VICES DE­PART­MENT

Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Car­rie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor greets the Prime Min­is­ter of Sin­ga­pore Lee Hsien Loong be­fore their meet­ing in Sin­ga­pore on Thurs­day.

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