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10 January 2023 Parliamentary Replies

Oral Reply to Parliamentary Question on outsourcing of Government functions

Parliamentary Sitting: 10 Jan 2023

Mr Leong Mun Wai: To ask the Prime Minister for each year since 2000 (a) what is the estimated number of full-time public sector jobs that have been lost due to the outsourcing of Government functions to the private sector; and (b) what is the percentage of contract workers among public sector employees.

Oral Reply by Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Education and Minister-in-charge of the Public Service:

The public sector generally outsources specific services or functions when the private sector is better placed to provide these, due to its deeper expertise or greater efficiency. This approach allows the public sector to tap into the private sector’s capabilities and capacity, while the public sector focuses resources on key public services and functions.

Outsourcing by the Public Service does not necessarily result in job loss for any person per se, as the work remains to be done. Impacted public officers may choose to be transferred to the outsourced entities, or be retrained and redeployed within the same agency or across the wider public service. Where functions are corporatised, officers typically continue employment with the corporatised entity on comparable terms. 

As at 31 Dec 2021, approximately 0.66% of public officers were employed on contracts of less than a year in duration. They may be employed on contract due to various reasons such as manpower augmentation.