ASEAN Heads of Civil Service discussed challenges and solutions towards resilient and innovative civil service sector during a meeting in Singapore on 25 October.
The ASEAN Heads of Civil Service meeting was held under the ambit of the 19th ASEAN Cooperation on Civil Service Matters (ACCSM).
The top officials exchanged views on challenges faced nowadays by civil service due to the advent of Industry 4.0, workforce demography shift, and higher public expectations of quality public services. They also discussed innovations to deliver public service with greater value and efficiency, actively engage citizens in nation-building and build a future-ready civil service with mindset shift.
Responding to those challenges, ASEAN Member States continue to promote effective and efficient civil service, public accountability and good governance through the implementation of projects and activities under the ACCSM Work Plan 2016-2020. By 2018, more than 50% of projects and activities were either completed or on-going in the areas of leadership, talent management and public service motivation, among others. ASEAN Civil Service Talent Management Initiatives was endorsed as a good model for reference.
Post-2020 work plan was deliberated to address current common challenges and opportunities on digitalisation, cross-agency coordination, civil service capacities and capabilities, resource constraints, and transformative leadership. Revised themes of the ten ASEAN Resource Centers were also adopted to ensure responsiveness to evolving needs for future-ready public services. Complementing this, ASEAN Network of Public Service Training Institutes (PSTIs) was established to strengthen training capabilities across all ASEAN civil service agencies and share resources for mutual learning. The Terms of Reference of the Network was adopted.
The ASEAN Heads of Civil Service agreed that cooperation with ASEAN Dialogue Partners would be widened. Cooperation with Australia, Canada and India was being explored.
The Heads of Civil Service of ASEAN Member States also met their counterparts from China, Japan and Korea (the Plus Three Countries) on 25 October. They agreed to strengthen partnerships in implementing the ACCSM Plus Three Work Plan 2016-2020 and learning from one another in promoting structural reform, digital literacy and competencies of civil service.
Preceding the meetings, ASEAN Plus Three Forum on Good Governance was held on 24 October. Delegates exchanged views and shared practices on public service reform and transformation towards citizen-centric civil service that is resilient and innovative.
Thailand assumed the 20th ACCSM Chairmanship for the period of 2018-2020 under the theme “Accelerating Agile ASEAN Civil Service”.