Top officials gather to tackle shared challenges

By on 10/02/2017
Mr Peter Ong, Head of Civil Service, Singapore, opening the Global Government Summit, Singapore 2017

Civil service leaders are gathering in Singapore today to discuss some of the biggest challenges facing governments around the world.

Hosted by the Singapore Civil Service and organised by Global Government Forum, the Global Government Summit begins on Friday evening with a presentation by former UK cabinet secretary Lord O’Donnell. The British peer’s talk will kick off a debate on the economic weaknesses currently destabilising societies and political systems in both industrialised and developing countries.

Some 11 countries are sending top officials to the Summit, including New Zealand head of state services Peter Hughes; Australian deputy secretary for governance Elizabeth Kelly; UK civil service chief executive John Manzoni; and deputy director-general Matthias Freundlieb of the German Chancellery.

The Summit is designed to permit open, frank conversations on some of the key problems and opportunities that governments are grappling with, and most of the content is provided by civil service delegates. Tomorrow’s schedule includes a session on social cohesion in diverse societies, led by Canadian deputy clerk of the Privy Council Serge Dupont and Singapore’s community relations and engagement director Lim Shung Yar; and presentations on achieving strategic coherence across government by Estonian state secretary Heiki Loot and Malaysian chief secretary to the government Dr Ali Hamsa.

Further sessions will cover how civil servants can help strengthen public trust in governments, and digital topics such as ‘big data’ and ‘government as a platform’. The group also includes delegates from Russia, Turkey and Cambodia, plus knowledge partners the Centre for Public Impact – a think tank sponsored by consultancy the Boston Consulting Group.

This year’s event – which runs over an evening and one full day – is the fifth Global Government Summit. Over the coming weeks, Global Government Forum will produce and distribute a report setting out the key discussions and conclusions.

About Matt Ross

Matt is a journalist and editor specialising in public sector management, policymaking and service delivery. He was the editor of Civil Service World 2008-14, serving an audience of senior UK officials; and the features editor of Regeneration & Renewal 2002-08, covering urban regeneration, economic growth and community development. He has also been a motoring and travel journalist, and now combines his role as editorial director of Global Government Forum with communications consultancy, marketing and journalism work for publishers, public sector unions and private sector suppliers to government.

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