PS21 Office

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital won the 2013 Ps21 Gold ExCEL award for their Ageing in Place project. Image courtesy of  PS21 Office
Case Study

“Staff suggestions were floated up to the senior management of each agency for consideration. When the senior management started to see good ideas coming up from the ground they started paying attention.” 

Tay Choon Hong, Director, PS21 Office

  • Leadership
  • Methods
Location in government

National government

Where it is based

Singapore

Mission statement

“PS21 is the Change Movement of the Singapore Public Service. It encourages every public officer to be open to change, and to find better ways, ideas and possibilities to bring about improvement and innovation in their individual work or the work of the public service.”

Annual spend

Not provided

Size of team

43

Example of impact

An evaluation of PS21 estimated that over a year it generated 520,000 suggestions from staff, of which approximately 60 per cent were implemented, leading to savings of around £55 million.

PS21 Office (PS21) is a team within the Public Service Division of the Singapore Prime Minister’s Office responsible for driving change and innovation in the Singaporean Public Service. Launched in 1995, PS21 started from the government’s desire to develop more employee-centered public management with the overarching aim of “preparing public services for the 21st century”. PS21 has implemented a range of government programmes focusing on improving policy and service delivery, encouraging cross-agency collaboration and recognising public service innovation.

What it does

PS21 has been described as the most comprehensive administrative reform to be introduced in Singapore. It works on a wide range of initiatives to improve the quality and efficiency of public services and to boost innovation. At the heart of the PS21 movement is the ambition to improve the capacity of public officers to develop ideas and solutions that ‘future-proof’ the Singaporean public services. PS21 has implemented a range of government programmes focusing on improving policy and service delivery, encouraging cross-agency collaboration and recognising public service innovation. Its Staff Suggestion Scheme is central to this, and enables ideas to be generated to overcome the usual hierarchical barriers public officers face.

The Excellence in Continuous Enterprise and Learning (ExCEL) is another example of PS21’s commitment to public service innovation. Every year PS21 facilitates a process where all ministries can submit proposals that represent the work they have been doing on innovation. Before deciding which project to nominate, each ministry runs its own mini ExCEL fair or convention to identify the best projects to put forward.

Ageing in Place won the 2013 ExCEL gold award. Faced with the reality that Singapore is one of the fastest ageing societies in Asia and with increasing pressure on hospital bed space, the project was initiated by the Ministry of Health to provide holistic post-hospital discharge support for patients and carers in their homes. Results of the first 400 patients involved in Ageing in Place showed that after completing a six month period of care, the average admission rate dropped from 3.6 times to 1.2 times per patient after the intervention.

Interesting features
  • Leadership: Having been initiated and driven by the Head of the Singaporean Civil Service, one of the most important factors behind the success of PS21 is its ability to connect ideas from frontline staff with heads of services, thereby getting senior public officers to champion new ideas for improvement.
  • Methods: PS21 provides an interesting example of the potential in creating systemic interventions that tap into the knowledge and creative potential in public officers, all the while incentivising participation in public innovation schemes.

Learn more
Read our full case study on PS21 in the i-teams report.

If you liked PS21 you may also be interested in
PEMANDU
Seoul Innovation Bureau

Footnotes

  1. Quah, J.S.T. (2010), Chapter 8 Implementing PS21 in the Singapore Civil Service, in Quah, J.S.T. (ed.) Public Administration Singa-pore-style (Research in Public Policy Analysis and Management, Volume 19), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.147-170

Photo Credit: Khoo Teck Puat Hospital won the 2013 Ps21 Gold ExCEL award for their Ageing in Place project. Image courtesy of  PS21 Office

This page was last updated on

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 16:30