WE WISH to reassure Mr Mak Yuen Teen ("Beware of recognising public agencies for only pro-business ideas"; last Saturday) that the public service continues to recognise public sector agencies to be ethical, effective and efficient, through a range of awards and programmes.
One critical area is to foster a pro-enterprise culture, one which seeks to cut red tape by reviewing and improving government rules and regulations.
To support this objective, the Pro-Enterprise Panel-Singapore Business Federation (PEP-SBF) Awards specifically recognise agencies which have done well in enacting clear rules and regulations, enhancing outreach programmes and developing user-friendly service platforms to facilitate business compliance.
The awards also acknowledge public agencies, businesses and individuals who have contributed suggestions that result in positive regulatory change.
Government agencies adopt a holistic perspective in reviewing regulations, taking into account the interests of all stakeholders, including businesses and the public.
Mr Mak cited the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore's (MPA's) regulatory review, expressing concern that "over-simplifying such licensing rules could have adverse implications for safety to employees and consumers".
The MPA had reviewed and updated its licensing rules to keep in tandem with changes in the business environment, and had ensured that the changes do not compromise passenger safety.
Bernadette Foong (Ms)
Director (Research and Enterprise)
Ministry of Trade and Industry
Pro-Enterprise Panel Secretariat