Eficiency in public administration
The Malaysian economy was characterized by high growth in the 1960s, and the Government's plan to provide a wider range of goods and services to the populace required the creation of new institutions and the streamlining of others. The creation of new organizational structures as instruments of development must be seen as a major reform effort, albeit at a structural level, to provide new and expanded services.
With the formation of Malaysia in 1963, the focus on institution building and development administration became even more fervent as the Government embarked on more development projects to ensure the success of the new political entity.
There was a need for a civil service that could deliver more effectively and efficiently the new and expanded services and implement socio-economic development programmes. Based on the recommendation of the Esman-Montgomery report, the Government established the Development Administration Unit (DAU) within the Prime Minister's department to reorient the public sector in its operational style and thinking - and to focus on development rather than solely on maintenance functions.
The Unit was established as a centre for reform efforts and was charged with identifying and implementing administrative improvements in the public service. Since its establishment, the Unit has conducted a number of important studies on organizational structures, processes and procedures and has made a series of recommendations to bring about
administrative changes in the public service.
A renewed sense of purpose and urgency followed the introduction of the New Economic Policy in 1971. New institutions, primarily public enterprises, were established as the developmental role of the Government was expanded even further in the face of a weak private sector, and high premium was placed on training and upgrading the skills as well as the knowledge of civil servants to augment their developmental roles.
The study by the Development Administration Unit on training needs in the public service and its recommendation for shortterm and long-term plans for upgrading training facilities in the civil service led to the establishment of the National Training Institute in 1972. This resulted in a large number of public sector employees being trained at the Institute in the area of development administration.
Major initiatives in the areas of personnel management were also recommended in the Esman-Montgomery report. In the area of public personnel management, there was a review of the recruitment, promotion, discipline and personnel evaluation policies and practices. This resulted in the reorganization of the Federal Establishment Office in 1970 to form the Public Service Department (PSD) as a separate institution.
As a central personnel agency, it was entrusted with the responsibility for initiating and implementing personnel management policies that would increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the public service. The Department also had a Training and Career Development Division. Better personnel management policies, coupled with the training provided at the Institute, led to the upgrading of the public service capabilities.
A significant development in the history of the public service was the establishment of the Malaysian Administrative Modernization and Manpower Planning Unit (currently known as the Malaysian Administrative Modernization and Management Planning Unit, or MAMPU) under the Prime Minister's department in 1977. In line with the Government's objectives of introducing changes and innovations into the public service, MAMPU was given the responsibility of studying and identifying the major problems facing administrative development at all levels of administration and suggesting measures to overcome them.
The establishment of MAMPU integrated the responsibility for administrative and developmental change in one organization. MAMPU continues to initiate and spearhead administrative improvements and modernization efforts in the public service.
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