26 September 2023

SINGAPORE: Robots taking over PS work

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Singapore has now reached an advanced stage in the introduction of robotic software in Government Agencies to take over some of the work of Public Servants.

Piloting the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is Deputy Director of the Engineering Program Office, Public Service Division, Mavis Tan (pictured right), who says RPA will take over the high-volume, repetitive, and often tedious tasks in the bureaucracy.

“This includes things like sending out mass emails, analysing data, and collating regular reports,” Ms Tan said.

“Officers will have more time to do higher value things, things that are more challenging, meaningful and fulfilling.”

She said RPA would work by mimicking human actions on a computer, such as taking data from a spreadsheet and placing it into an email template.

“Over time, it learns the rules to do this and can eventually complete the task without human intervention,” Ms Tan said.

“When we first started out, we realised that not many Agencies had heard of RPA, or knew what it could do for them, so what we sought to do was to then develop, approve and showcase test cases.”

Ms Tan said so far 18 Agencies had implemented RPA.

“We didn’t pick Agencies that were not interested in our pitch,” she said.

“We purposely chose processes that could be found useful or replicated by other Agencies.”

She said this would allow others to easily learn and implement similar projects in their own Agencies.

Ms Tan said she was pleased with the way the project was progressing.

“The robots are being designed to improve jobs and, as a result, Civil Servants are becoming more used to working with them,” she said.

Singapore, 6 September 2019

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