BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has tabled a budget of $431.52 million for the fiscal year 2021/2022, the same allocation as the previous financial year.

The bulk of the budget — $362 million — is set for staff salary and recurring expenses while a total of $65.49 million has been allocated for development projects.

Speaking during a session of the Legislative Council on Wednesday, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office YB Dato Seri Setia Hj Awg Abdul Mokti Hj Mohd Daud said the budget will focus on three main areas.

This involves improving the nation’s productivity, specifically the civil service; providing sustainable facilities and infrastructure for public welfare and economic development; and producing competent and employable human resources for the country.

He added that a number of programmes are in the works to improve the civil service, including plans to introduce a human resources audit to review manpower needs.

A digitisation initiative is also being created to speed up the civil service recruitment process.

“The PSC Recruitment System will be upgraded to PSC Recruitment 2.0 that will be integrated with the JobCentre Brunei system making it a single window national recruitment portal,” said YB Dato Hj Awg Abd Mokti.

The Prime Minister’s Office, which comprises 19 departments, has the largest portfolio in cabinet. The budget allocations for five departments will not discussed in an open setting, the minister said, given their “sensitive” nature with regards to national security.

Those departments are the Narcotics Control Bureau, the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Internal Security Department, Royal Brunei Police Force, and Brunei Research Department.

Discussion on the PMO budget continues on Thursday.