Written Reply to Parliamentary Questions on the breakdown on the number of officers appointed to the Administrative Service

14 February 2012

Parliamentary Sitting: 14 February 2012

Mr Pritam Singh: To ask the Prime Minister (a) if he will give a breakdown of the number of Civil Service officers who were transferred from the various MX schemes of service to the Administrative Service from 2000 onwards; (b) how old were these civil servants when they were transferred to the Administrative Service; (c) how many Permanent Secretaries and CEOs of statutory boards today entered the Civil Service as MX officers; and (d) what is the percentage of Permanent Secretaries and CEOs of statutory boards today who were not originally from the Administrative Service.

Written Reply (for the Prime Minister) by Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for National Security, Minister in charge of the Civil Service and Minister for Home Affairs:

Appointment to the Administrative Service

High calibre public officers assessed to have the potential to rise to leadership positions in the Public Service are emplaced in the Administrative Service. Officers can be appointed to the Administrative Service at any point in their careers. Selection for the Administrative Service is a meritocratic process that draws on the whole talent pool within the Public Service. There are thus multiple routes of entry to the Administrative Service. All potential candidates are rigorously assessed before they are appointed, and once appointed, Administrative Officers (AOs) are continually assessed to ensure that only the most able and committed officers with the right values eventually assume public service leadership positions.

In 2002, the Management Associates Programme (MAP) was introduced as a talent development programme and main route of entry for the Administrative Service. Under the MAP framework, fresh graduates are not appointed directly to the Administrative Service. They are typically appointed onto the Management Executive (MX) scheme, which is the generic scheme of service for graduate officers. Some may also be appointed to the professional services such as the Economist, Education, or Foreign Service.

Management Associates are considered for appointment to the Administrative Service only after 3 to 4 years, if they have proven their leadership abilities, mettle and commitment to serve. Apart from Management Associates, a number of other serving public officers from ministries and statutory boards, the Singapore Armed Forces and the Singapore Police Force, are appointed to the Administrative Service each year. Hence, most newly appointed AOs would have started on the MX scheme or another scheme of service within the public sector. In addition to serving public officers, mid-career entrants from the private sector could also be selected to join the Administrative Service directly.

There were a total of 190 appointments to the Administrative Service in the past 10 years (2002 – 2011), of which 177 were appointed to the Administrative Service from other schemes of service, including the MX scheme.

1As appointment to the Administrative Service can take place at various points of an officer’s career, AOs have been appointed at ages ranging from 26 to 50.

Profile of Permanent Secretaries and Statutory Board CEOs

There are currently 22 Permanent Secretaries in Ministries and 54 statutory board CEOs or equivalent. All the Permanent Secretaries and 21 of the statutory board CEOs (about 40%) are AOs.

Of the Permanent Secretaries and statutory board CEOs who are AOs, 22 (i.e. about half) were selected to join the Administrative Service later in their careers.

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1 The remaining 13 cases mainly comprise direct appointments in 2002 and 2003 due to the transition to the MAP, and direct appointment from the private sector.