Lam proposes HK’s Civil Service Academy
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.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor greets the Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong before their meeting in Singapore on Thursday.