BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has tabled a budget of $431 million for the fiscal year 2020/21, a 1.3 percent increase from the previous financial year.

Speaking on the third day of the 16th Legislative Council session, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office YB Dato Seri Setia Hj Awg Abdul Mokti Hj Mohd Daud attributed the $7.91 million increase to the establishment of two new organisations – Manpower Planning and Employment Council (MPEC) and Balai Khazanah Islam Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah.

PMO has also absorbed the Brunei Intellectual Property Office (BruIPO) from the Ministry of Energy.

The majority of the budget — $366 million — is set for staff salary and recurring expenses.

A total of $65.49 million has also been allocated for PMO’s projects under the 11th National Development Plan.

YB Dato Hj Awg Abd Mokti said the budget will focus on improving investment activities, facilitating business, producing competent and employable human resources and preserving public welfare.

The minister said Brunei’s ongoing efforts in boosting investments and facilitating business have resulted in marked improvements in the World Bank’s ease of doing business rankings in 2019, specifically in enforcing of contracts and resolving insolvencies.

“The Prime Minister’s Office is ensuring the level of government service is maintained through our ongoing programmes such as the Client’s Charter and the Civil Service Performance Programme,” he said.

“For our efforts in improving investment activities and diversifying the economy, we will continue to strengthen our close ties with Singapore through the Young Leaders’ Programme so we may benefit from the sharing of Singapore’s best practices as they are a strategic business hub in this region,” YB Dato Hj Awg Abd Mokti added.

To improve human capital, the minister said programmes such as executive development programmes for senior government officials and middle-level officials and young executive programmes are still ongoing, while the Civil Service Institute is currently refining its curriculum to cultivate excellence.