Changes announced among Singapore’s most senior civil servants

By on 23/03/2016
Mr Peter Ong, pictured here speaking at Global Government Forum's Global Government Summit, will remain head of Singapore's civil service.

The head of Singapore’s civil service Peter Ong will relinquish his appointments as permanent secretary, special duties at the prime minister’s office (PMO), and as finance permanent secretary, and take up the leadership of a new group within the PMO.

The PMO Strategy Group was created last July to support the prime minister and his Cabinet in establishing priorities and strengthening strategic alignment across government. From 1 May, Ong, 54, who has previously led defence, transport, trade and industry and national security security departments, will be permanent secretary, strategy, at the PMO. He will remain head of Singapore’s civil service.

Current health permanent secretary Mrs Tan Ching Yee will replace Ong as PMO permanent secretary, special duties, and finance permanent secretary.

 

Mrs Tan Ching Yee, Permanent Secretary (Health), will be appointed as Permanent Secretary (Prime Minister’s Office)(Special Duties) and Permanent Secretary (Finance)

Mrs Tan Ching Yee will be appointed as Permanent Secretary (Prime Minister’s Office)(Special Duties) and Permanent Secretary (Finance)

Yee, 51, who has led the health department since 2012, has previously worked as permanent secretary and second permanent secretary at the education department, and held various senior roles at the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the InfoComm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), which is responsible for the development and growth of Singapore’s information technology and telecommunications sector.

Yee’s health role will be filled by Mr Chan Heng Kee, 47, who has been permanent secretary at the Ministry of Social and Family Development since 2012. Before this, Kee led the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports and the Workforce Development Agency, which falls under the Ministry of Manpower and seeks to help Singapore’s workforce remain competitive.

 

Mr Chan Heng Kee, Permanent Secretary (Social and Family Development), will be appointed as Permanent Secretary (Health)

Mr Chan Heng Kee will be appointed as Permanent Secretary (Health)

Kee’s post at the Ministry of Social and Family Development will be filled by Mr Chew Hock Yong, who is currently second permanent secretary at the Ministry of National Development and permanent secretary in charge of the Municipal Services Office (MSO), which works with government agencies to improve overall coordination and delivery of public services.

 

Mr Chew Hock Yong, Second Permanent Secretary (National Development) and Permanent Secretary in charge of the Municipal Services Office, will be appointed as Permanent Secretary (Social and Family Development)

Mr Chew Hock Yong will be appointed as Permanent Secretary (Social and Family Development)

Mrs Ow Foong Pheng, currently permanent secretary at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, will take over the leadership of the MSO whilst also being appointed permanent secretary at the Ministry of National Development. Pheng, 52, has held her current role since 2011, after working as second permanent secretary in the same department for two years. She previously worked as deputy secretary at the Ministry of Manpower and deputy secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs.

 

Mrs Ow Foong Pheng (left), Permanent Secretary (Trade and Industry), will be appointed as Permanent Secretary (National Development). She will also be the Permanent Secretary in charge of the Municipal Services Office

Mrs Ow Foong Pheng (left), will be appointed as Permanent Secretary (National Development), and also the Permanent Secretary in charge of the Municipal Services Office

Pheng will be succeeded at the Ministry of Trade and Industry by Mr Loh Khum Yean, who will give up his current role of permanent secretary at the Ministry of Manpower which he has held since 2009. Yean, 51, has held various appointments in the former Ministry of Communications; the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Public Service Division at the PMO before being appointed deputy secretary at the Ministry of Finance in 2002.

Yean’s successor at the manpower department, which is responsible for labour policies, will be Mr Aubeck Kam, who will take up the post in addition to his job as permanent secretary at the Ministry of Communications and Information. Kam, 45, has previously served at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of Manpower before his appointment as chief executive officer, at the Media Development Authority in 2010.

 

Mr Loh Khum Yean, Permanent Secretary (Manpower), will be appointed as Permanent Secretary (Trade and Industry)

Mr Loh Khum Yean will be appointed as Permanent Secretary (Trade and Industry)

Another change at the top of Singapore’s civil service announced yesterday by the Public Service Division, includes the appointment of Mr Gabriel Lim, CEO of the Media Development Authority (MDA),  who will become second permanent secretary (Communications and Information).

 

Mr Gabriel Lim, Chief Executive Officer, Media Development Authority (MDA), will take on the additional appointment of Second Permanent Secretary (Communications and Information). Mr Lim will also concurrently be co-Managing Director (Designate) of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

Mr Gabriel Lim, will take on the additional appointment of Second Permanent Secretary (Communications and Information) and co-Managing Director (Designate) of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

In preparation for the establishment of the Infocomm Media Development Authority, which will absorb the IDA and the Media Development Authority of Singapore, later this year, Lim will concurrently be designate co-managing director of the IDA with effect from 1 April, and co-managing director from 27 May.

Lim, 40, held various appointments in the Ministry of Defence, Public Service Division and Civil Service College and Ministry of Health before his appointment as the principal private secretary to the prime minister in 2011.

Another change in Singapore’s senior civil service is the retirement of Mr Benny Lim, permanent secretary of the Ministry of National Development, PMO and National Security & Intelligence Coordination. He is stepping down from his role on 30 April after 37 years in the public service.

 

Mr Benny Lim, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of National Development, Prime Minister’s Office and National Security & Intelligence Coordination, will retire on 30 April 2016, after 37 years of distinguished service in the Public Service

Mr Benny Lim will retire on 30 April 2016, after 37 years of distinguished service in the Public Service

Lim, 59, served in Singapore’s police force where he rose to the rank of deputy police commissioner and held various appointments including director of the internal security department.

He was appointed second permanent secretary at the home affairs ministry in 2004 and promoted to permanent secretary a year later. He assumed his current roles in 2011 and also chaired the National Security Coordination Committee and the Intelligence Coordination Committee which focus on developing strategic competencies and capabilities to address national security needs and interests.

He was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 2002 and the Meritorious Service Medal in 2010 for his contributions to the public service.

Part of Lim’s portfolio will be taken on by Mr Leo Yip, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs, who will concurrently be appointed as permanent secretary (Prime Minister’s Office) and permanent secretary (National Security and Intelligence Coordination), while Lim’s role at the Ministry of National Development will be filled by Pheng (see above).

 

Mr Leo Yip, Permanent Secretary (Home Affairs), will concurrently be appointed as Permanent Secretary (Prime Minister’s Office) and Permanent Secretary (National Security and Intelligence Coordination)

Mr Leo Yip will be appointed as Permanent Secretary (Prime Minister’s Office) and Permanent Secretary (National Security and Intelligence Coordination)

 

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See also:

Peter Ong, Head of Civil Service, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Permanent Secretary (Special Duties), Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore: Exclusive interview

Tom Scholar appointed new permanent secretary of UK Treasury

Sir Nicholas Macpherson, Permanent Secretary, HM Treasury, UK: Exclusive Interview

UK cross-government leadership group highlights departmental ‘good practice’ initatives

Interview: John Manzoni, chief executive, UK Civil Service

Stephen Lovegrove appointed new permanent secretary of the UK’s Ministry of Defence

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About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World – the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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