In an update provided on the Subject Matter Expertise (SME) programme launched by Malaysia's Public Service Department in 2016, as of 24 July 2020, a total of 70 areas of expertise have been developed and 69 federal civil service officers from various services have been recognised as specialised field experts, or SMEs.

The department, known as Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam (JPA), established the programme with a view to optimise and certify expertise in the civil service as well as reduce reliance on external expertise. The areas of expertise under the SME initiative are determined by the organisational as well as national direction.  

In the statement by JPA on 6 August 2020, the transfer of expertise of SME officers is carried out through the implementation of SME Special Assignment (SSA) which is a pre-condition for retention and promotion to the next SME grade. SSA for SMEs can take the form of consulting services, scholarly writing, research, coaching and mentoring, or special projects that identified by the Head of Service.

As such, since the implementation of the programme in 2016, based on the analysis of the Public Service Department, the Government in 2019 saved costs in terms of services consultation, project implementation and training programmes to the tune of RM19mn.

In addition information, the Public Works Department (PWD/JKR) was the first such agency to implement the SME initiative after its enactment, and a total of 13 PWD officers are recognized as SMEs as of 1 November, 2018.

Datuk Mohd Khairul Adib Abd Rahman, Director General of Public Service, shared: "The PSD welcomes the involvement of the Ministry and Department to develop more areas of expertise in line with the direction of the country. In connection with that, PSD will support and assist Ministries and Departments so that this effort can be realized to improve the quality and productivity of the organisation."

Photo / 123RF

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