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  #4471 (permalink)  
Old 03-01-2015, 10:00 AM
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Default Policy Work in MOF

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I was from somewhere similar to MOF. It's usual for workdays to be from 9am to 9pm / 10pm / 11pm / 12am.

Not much relevance to private sector. Perhaps to stat boards only. Imo, there's a higher chance of getting work-life balance in stat boards' policy departments compared to ministry policy departments.
Morning!

I am the poster of the original question. Thanks for sharing =)

I assume your portfolio is mainly policy-oriented, especially geared towards the economic aspects? In your opinion, do you think policy work is quite generalist in nature and has little transferrable skills? For example, if one were to start off handling fiscal policy, the domain knowledge built up in terms of understanding when to apply expansionary vis--vis discretionary fiscal measures, knowing what's Reinvestment Funding and Revenue Recognition Framework will all be quite specialised. Should the incumbent moves to another agency handling another domain of policy making i.e. social / transport / Infrastructure policies, there will be a need to start from scratch in terms of building up the required domain knowledge for him / her to formulate and execute policies.

Then again, arguing from another angle, the officer might also be conversant in macro-economic analysis from a projected global and local outlook. He / she could be possibly also assessing the tax receipts that we are collecting how we should allocate those resources equitably and efficiently to various needs of the nation i.e. healthcare, transport, education and enhancing social safety nets. Such intangible skills will therefore be useful when crossing over to a new policy portfolio, due to his / her ability to model the future and adequately evaluating the different needs of the country.

Apologies for being long-winded, as I am trying to understand the irony between policy work and non-policy work (i.e. Finance, Procurement, HR). The former is favoured in public sector as it sets out the initiatives of the government, yet it seems to have little transferrable skills. The latter is always seen as a support function, subordinated to policy work. However, it increases one's marketability across agencies as he / she builds up his / her experience.

Appreciate your views =)

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  #4472 (permalink)  
Old 03-01-2015, 12:41 PM
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I think what he/she meant was that part-time master degrees are not recognised in terms of you getting a salary increment for it. Actually even for full-time master degrees, they are usually not recognised for salary increments too, unless a master degree is part of the job specs. By and large, most of the Div 1 positions only require a bachelor degree so they look at your bachelor degree results plus work experience to determine the salary offered.
What if I am doing masters degree for career change prospects, so my bachelor degree isn't so relevant to the job but my masters degree is?

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  #4473 (permalink)  
Old 03-01-2015, 06:08 PM
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What if I am doing masters degree for career change prospects, so my bachelor degree isn't so relevant to the job but my masters degree is?
On this case, then they would factor this into consideration when they shortlist you for an interview. As for salary determination, I get the sense that it's still based on bachelor degree results and work experience.

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  #4474 (permalink)  
Old 03-01-2015, 06:25 PM
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Morning!

I am the poster of the original question. Thanks for sharing =)

I assume your portfolio is mainly policy-oriented, especially geared towards the economic aspects? In your opinion, do you think policy work is quite generalist in nature and has little transferrable skills? For example, if one were to start off handling fiscal policy, the domain knowledge built up in terms of understanding when to apply expansionary vis--vis discretionary fiscal measures, knowing what's Reinvestment Funding and Revenue Recognition Framework will all be quite specialised. Should the incumbent moves to another agency handling another domain of policy making i.e. social / transport / Infrastructure policies, there will be a need to start from scratch in terms of building up the required domain knowledge for him / her to formulate and execute policies.

Then again, arguing from another angle, the officer might also be conversant in macro-economic analysis from a projected global and local outlook. He / she could be possibly also assessing the tax receipts that we are collecting how we should allocate those resources equitably and efficiently to various needs of the nation i.e. healthcare, transport, education and enhancing social safety nets. Such intangible skills will therefore be useful when crossing over to a new policy portfolio, due to his / her ability to model the future and adequately evaluating the different needs of the country.

Apologies for being long-winded, as I am trying to understand the irony between policy work and non-policy work (i.e. Finance, Procurement, HR). The former is favoured in public sector as it sets out the initiatives of the government, yet it seems to have little transferrable skills. The latter is always seen as a support function, subordinated to policy work. However, it increases one's marketability across agencies as he / she builds up his / her experience.

Appreciate your views =)
I would say that if you have the aptitude and attitude to handle policy work in one ministry, you probably won't run into too much issues when you move into a new policy portfolio at another ministry or agency. The experience of having handled policy work, principles of how a good policy paper is written/presented, insights gained from how senior management thinks, the socio-political considerations etc, are valuable when you take on other policy roles. Domain knowledge has to be picked up nonetheless but it's not really an issue.

I would say that the different domains of policy making in our civil service can broadly be split into social (moe, moh, MSF, MCCY, MCi), security (mindef, mha), economic (MTI, MOF, MND, mOT, mewr) and central administration (psd). You may consider specializing in policy work within a 'domain family' eg social or economic.
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  #4475 (permalink)  
Old 04-01-2015, 08:54 AM
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Default Policy Work in MOF

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I would say that if you have the aptitude and attitude to handle policy work in one ministry, you probably won't run into too much issues when you move into a new policy portfolio at another ministry or agency. The experience of having handled policy work, principles of how a good policy paper is written/presented, insights gained from how senior management thinks, the socio-political considerations etc, are valuable when you take on other policy roles. Domain knowledge has to be picked up nonetheless but it's not really an issue.

I would say that the different domains of policy making in our civil service can broadly be split into social (moe, moh, MSF, MCCY, MCi), security (mindef, mha), economic (MTI, MOF, MND, mOT, mewr) and central administration (psd). You may consider specializing in policy work within a 'domain family' eg social or economic.
Hi Morning!

Thanks again for your insightful comments on navigating through a policy-oriented career, it's certainly enlightening

On a separate note, would you think It's better to embark on a career in policy rather than Finance / Procurement, even though MOF has recently rolled out the Finance / Procurement specialist tracks for Finance practitioners within the public sector?

Thanks again!
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  #4476 (permalink)  
Old 04-01-2015, 11:14 AM
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Hi Morning!

Thanks again for your insightful comments on navigating through a policy-oriented career, it's certainly enlightening

On a separate note, would you think It's better to embark on a career in policy rather than Finance / Procurement, even though MOF has recently rolled out the Finance / Procurement specialist tracks for Finance practitioners within the public sector?

Thanks again!
While it's a specialist track, I think the scheme of service is still the mx scheme? If the scheme is still the same, then I'm not sure if this specialist track will substantially enhance career prospects.

Why not try out policy first (2 years) and switch to finance/procurement if you don't want to stay in policy? I think switching from policy to finance/procurement is easier than vice versa, all things being equal. Once you have tasted policy work, it's likely that you won't be keen on finance/procurement.....finance/procurement is full of Ops and SOPs.
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  #4477 (permalink)  
Old 04-01-2015, 12:07 PM
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Default Policy Work in MOF

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While it's a specialist track, I think the scheme of service is still the mx scheme? If the scheme is still the same, then I'm not sure if this specialist track will substantially enhance career prospects.

Why not try out policy first (2 years) and switch to finance/procurement if you don't want to stay in policy? I think switching from policy to finance/procurement is easier than vice versa, all things being equal. Once you have tasted policy work, it's likely that you won't be keen on finance/procurement.....finance/procurement is full of Ops and SOPs.
Hello!

Thanks for your prompt reply.

Yes, agree that the specialist track does not emplace officers on a different scheme from the generic MX scheme.

Oh, my impression is that policy work is more 'malleable' and not as rigid as Finance / Procurement. Thus, it would be easier to make the transition from the latter to the former since the environment would become less stringent. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Haha, I'm already 1.5 yrs into Finance / Procurement, so am hoping to continue building up my experience in it. Then again, I'm also aware that policy work is the darling in civil service, so am concerned of the prospects in my current scope of work.

If it is alright, may I ask how long have you been doing policy work? Are you currently a MX11 or MX10?

Thank you!
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  #4478 (permalink)  
Old 04-01-2015, 03:43 PM
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Hello!

Thanks for your prompt reply.

Yes, agree that the specialist track does not emplace officers on a different scheme from the generic MX scheme.

Oh, my impression is that policy work is more 'malleable' and not as rigid as Finance / Procurement. Thus, it would be easier to make the transition from the latter to the former since the environment would become less stringent. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Haha, I'm already 1.5 yrs into Finance / Procurement, so am hoping to continue building up my experience in it. Then again, I'm also aware that policy work is the darling in civil service, so am concerned of the prospects in my current scope of work.

If it is alright, may I ask how long have you been doing policy work? Are you currently a MX11 or MX10?

Thank you!
I think it depends on whether the individual is more keen on structured type of work or something more malleable. I personally prefer something more malleable because of the opportunity for strategy and leeway for creativity.

I'm in a policy related area, not in policy per se. I'm doing policy-oriented research and planning. I'm in mx11.
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  #4479 (permalink)  
Old 04-01-2015, 06:25 PM
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Default Policy Work in MOF

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I think it depends on whether the individual is more keen on structured type of work or something more malleable. I personally prefer something more malleable because of the opportunity for strategy and leeway for creativity.

I'm in a policy related area, not in policy per se. I'm doing policy-oriented research and planning. I'm in mx11.

Hi good evening!

Yes, understand that each individual's preference varies widely from one another.

From your experience, do you find colleagues in policy roles advanced relatively faster than their Finance / Procurement / Corp Services counterparts?

On a related note, may I know how long have you been in service and how long did it take you to reach MX11?

Thank you.
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  #4480 (permalink)  
Old 04-01-2015, 08:15 PM
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Hi good evening!

Yes, understand that each individual's preference varies widely from one another.

From your experience, do you find colleagues in policy roles advanced relatively faster than their Finance / Procurement / Corp Services counterparts?

On a related note, may I know how long have you been in service and how long did it take you to reach MX11?

Thank you.
Not the same person but about 4 years to reach MX11, 2-3 more years to reach MX10. Then super scale by 40. Quite attainable in policy role
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