Digital transformation in the public sector

Almost 400 delegates from 30 countries converged in Singapore to discuss digital transformation in the public sector.

Investment in skills and the digital infrastructure cannot be delayed if the public sector is to stay ahead of the curve and avoid the risk of being left behind in the digital revolution.

This was one of the key conclusions from ACCA's (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) recent International Public Sector Conference held in Singapore, organised in collaboration with ACCA's strategic partner, the Singapore Accountancy Commission.

Conference speakers offered examples of best practice from Estonia, Singapore, and Malaysia on how to manage digital transformation.

Key speakers covered a wide range of issues including talent, transparency, accountability and better financial management -- all linking to the event's timely theme of The Digital Public Sector.

"Digital transformation in the public sector is not possible without the right talent in place to make it happen. Our research Drivers of change in the public sector has shown that the global talent pool ranks the second highest concern -- with the spread of diversity in the workplace ranked in the top 10. Effective and efficient talent management in the public sector will be a key success factor for leading the digital revolution," said Alex Metcalfe, ACCA's head of public sector policy, who also chaired the event.

"For public sector to progress, we cannot be insular and we need to be in touch with the latest digital advancement, changes in the different industries and understand the pulse of the economy," said Dr Koh Chee Wee, director of Leadership and Workforce Capabilities, at Singapore Public Service Division.

"Public sector also have to be wiling to adapt new work processes and to change the way it structures itself in order to attract 'GenNex'," he noted.

"If done well, digital innovation creates many opportunities for the more effective management of public money. New technologies such as Big Data and AI can help us allocate scarce resource more efficiently," added Leong Soo Yee, Market Director, Asia Pacific, ACCA. 

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