Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on whether the Ministry intends to abolish the Civil Service performance management system of stack ranking

05 October 2020

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on whether the Ministry intends to abolish the Civil Service performance management system of stack ranking

Parliamentary Sitting: 5 October 2020

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Prime Minister whether the Ministry intends to abolish the Civil Service performance management system of stack ranking.

Written Reply by Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade & Industry and Minister-in-charge of the Public Service.

The Civil Service seeks to operate a transparent and fair performance management system which rewards officers according to their work contributions.

We adopt a system of relative ranking, where an officer’s performance is not just assessed by his own supervisor, but also cross-ranked against his peers by a ranking panel comprising direct and indirect supervisors. The system allows us to moderate supervisor subjectivity and establish common and consistent standards of performance assessment, to identify and recognise stronger performing officers. It also correspondingly helps identify weaker performing officers to help them improve their performance.

On balance, we find that a system of relative ranking of performance still serves its purpose. Nevertheless, we have also allowed flexibility for deviation where the case merits, depending on the performance of individual officers. We continue to study alternative systems of performance management so that we can ensure our syste remains relevant and effective as our operating landscape changes.