Similarly to many other governments, Singapore practices a government with several ministries and departments. In a ministry, a member of cabinet chairs and focuses on matters that are related to its area. This is known as the minister who is then assisted by a junior minister.
Ministries and Departments
As long as an individual works for the government in any capacity, they are known as a civil servant who works in public service. They can either belong to a ministry, department or a statutory board while there are other types of agencies as well.
The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF)
The Ministry of Social and Family Development is mainly involve in the development and efforts to improve social communities and wellbeing. Among its major departments under its purview include the Emergency Preparedness, Feedback and Organisational Development Units. Meanwhile, its involved in communications and international relations, elderly and family development, human resources, sports as well as in strategic policy and research. In terms of statutory boards, the ministry oversees the Hindu Advisory Board, the Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura, the National Council of Social Service, the People’s Association as well as the Sikh Advisory Board and the Singapore Sports Council.
Ministry of Defence (MINDEF)
Responsible for the overall safety of the country, MINDEF is one of the most prominent ministries in Singapore being involved in the army and defence bodies. It manages the Centre for Strategic Infocomm Technologies, the Defence Management Group and the Defence Finance Organization, among others. It plays an important role in the Defence Policy Group, Military Security Department (MSD), the Defence Technology and Resources Office and the Civil Resources Authority. Other areas that MINDEF is involved in include the RSAF or Republic of Singapore Air Force, the RSN or Republic of Singapore Navy, the Singapore Armed Forces Military Police Command, the Singapore Army, the Singapore Armed Forces and others.
Ministry of Education (MOE)
The Ministry of Education or MOE is the department in charge of growing and developing the education landscape of Singapore. it handles very crucial agencies like the Compulsory Education Unit, the Curriculum Planning and Development Division, the Education Programmes, Education Technology and Higher Education Division and the school Planning and Placement Division together with many others. Besides that, the Singaporean MOE is involved in boards in ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute, the Institute of Technical Education, Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board and Singapore Polytechnic.
Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR)
The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, known in short as MEWR is responsible for policies and efforts in areas like environmental preservation and resources involving water. It handles the likes of the 3P Network Division, the Corporate Development Division, Facilities and Operations Management and in areas like planning, strategic policy and international relations. Besides that, the MEWR takes care of the Water Studies Division and sits in various statutory boards. This include the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Public Utilities Board (PUB)
Ministry of Finance (MOF)
This is perhaps one of the most important ministries in Singapore. MOF ensures that the government’s cash flow and books are well-balanced. This is done via many areas and departments like the Accountant-General’s Department, Corporate Development, the Corporate Services Directorate, Economic Programmes Directorate, Fiscal Policy Directorate, Free Trade Agreement, the Goods and Services Tax Board of Review, Income Tax Board of Review, the Internal Audit Unit, Singapore Customs, the Street and Building Names Board and Valuation Review Board, among others. Statutory boards that MOF is involved in include the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) and the Singapore Totalisator Board.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA)
MFA or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs handles the relationship of the government of Singapore with its foreign partners. This is carried out through various of its departments like the Directorates in Headquarters, the Americas, ASEAN, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Directorates respectively. Apart from that, there are other departments that MFA is involve in including the Consular Directorate, the Europe Directorate and others like Human Resource, International Economics, Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, Northeast Asia, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa and the Public Affairs Directorates.
Ministry of Health (MOH)
The Ministry of Health Singapore plays a vital role in the overall health sector of the country. MOH chairs and oversee all types of health-related areas where it covers areas like the Singapore Pharmacy Board (SPB), the Specialists Accreditation Board and is involved with the Alexandra Hospital, Changi General Hospital, Communicable Disease Centre, the Institute of Mental Health / Woodbridge Hospital, the Kandang Kerbau Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, the National Cancer Centre, the National Dental Centre, the National Healthcare Group, the National Heart Centre, the National Neuroscience Institute, the National University Hospital, the Singapore General Hospital, the Singapore Health Services and others. MOH oversees various bodies like the Health Promotion Board, Health Sciences Authority, councils of Dental, Medical, Nursing as well as the TCM Practitioners Board.
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)
The Ministry of Home Affairs or MHA handles matters and issues that occur and relate to those that are crucial within the country. Pressing issues and matters are managed by MHA through policy making and government-based procedures. This include going through departments like the National Council Against Drug Abuse, the National Crime Prevention Council, the National Fire Prevention Council and the Presidential Council for Religious Harmony. MFA is among the ministries that govern the most departments including the Central Narcotics Bureau, the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, the Internal Security Department, the Singapore Civil Defence Force and most notably, the Singapore Police Force and the Singapore Prison Service.
Ministry of Law (MinLaw)
Handling the legal and regulations sector of Singapore, MinLaw plays a vital role in maintaining order and all legal related issues. This include overseeing the Appeals Board for Land Acquisition, the Community Mediation Unit, the Copyright Tribunal, the Insolvency and Public Trustee’s Office as well as the Land Surveyors Board, Legal Aid Bureau and the Registry of Moneylenders and Pawnbrokers. Statutory boards that MinLaw is involved in include the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) and the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).
Ministry of Manpower (MOM)
This ministry very much handles the human resources efforts in Singapore in every aspect. Its departments include the Foreign Manpower Management Division, the Income Security Policy Department, the International Manpower Division, Labour Relations and Welfare Division, the Manpower Planning and Policy Division, Occupational Safety and Health Division and others. On top of that, the Central Provident Fund Board and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency come under the ministry’s purview as well.
Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)
This is the department that manages the efforts and specialized tasks under the prime minister of Singapore. Its departments include the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau, Cyber Security Agency, Elections Department, the Horticultural Section, Justices of the Peace, the National Climate Change Secretariat, the National Population and Talent Division, the National Research Foundation, the Public Service Division, the Smart Nation Programme Office and the Strategy Group while being in boards like the Singapore Civil Service College, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC), the Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) and The Cabinet (CAB), among others.