PUTRAJAYA - Be prudent in your spending and you will be rewarded, government ministries and departments have been told.
Ministries and departments should move away from the tradition of finishing their annual allocations and should try to save some, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
"Ministries that spend all their allocation are praised for being a good, performing ministry. But is spending all the allocation the absolute criteria of a good ministry?
"Why not challenge ourselves to reduce spending instead? We can achieve our objectives and KPI (key performance index) but at the same time reduce our spending," said Najib.
He is proposing to reward ministries and departments which manage to save on expenditure.
"Those that are able to save the Government some money, we will return the savings to them. I ask the Chief Secretary, Public Service Department (JPA), secretaries-general and Cuepacs to discuss how this can be done.
"The principle here is we give incentives to civil servants for being efficient," said Najib in his address at the 14th civil service premier assembly (Mappa) at Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) here yesterday.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa were also present.
In line with Mappa's theme this year of "growth through productivity and innovation", Najib called on the civil service to produce more through innovation with the aim to increase public satisfaction.
The Prime Minister proposed that JPA and the Malaysia Productivity Corporation do a study on how best to gauge productivity levels in the public sector.
Productivity, he explained was "producing the same work outcome but with lower cost, and increasing work outcome but with the same or reduced cost".
At the assembly, Najib announced that the housing allowance for civil servants had been adjusted from the minimum RM180 (S$65) to RM300 for those on Grade 41 and below, effective Nov 1. Those living in government quarters - who are not entitled to the allowance - will now receive 25 per cent of the housing allowance that their job scale is entitled to.
The move, said Najib, would cost the Government RM1.04bil a year, and would affect 1.1 million civil servants nationwide.
He also announced RM500 aid for civil servants of Grade 54 and below in conjunction with Ramadan and the upcoming Aidilfitri celebrations. Government pensioners will also receive RM250.
The aid will be paid on June 25.
The handout will cost the Government RM1bil, said Najib.