EXCLUSIVE – Building in-house ICT competency and expertise for government agencies through MAMPU
Could you tell us about your role at MAMPU?
I am currently the Director of the ICT Consultancy Division. The Division provides ICT consultancy services to government agencies. We are organised into three different tracks:
- ICT strategy
- Application development
- Technical services
Each one of these tracks has its own set of consultants. When you talk about application development, we have consultants for core application development and database management. For technical services, you are talking about providing consulting on data centres, network and security while ICT strategy track offers consultancy in ICT strategic plan, ICT project management, and Information Management.
All in all we’ve got about 40 experts. These experts have actually gone through a process of screening and the ultimate authority which certifies these people as experts is a committee chaired by JPA (Public Service Department). The committee comprises of members from academia, industry and government.
Our main purpose is to provide government agencies out there with consultation services in any one of the areas which I have mentioned earlier, which means it is more of an internal consultation. This has helped to reduce costs and it also helps to build in-house competency and expertise, which in turn has led to better project outcomes.
We also provide independent advice, in the sense that some of the big ICT projects which government ministries and agencies embark on, they enlist us to provide them with such guidance and expertise. So that’s what we basically do.
You told us there are three different tracks at MAMPU. Could you tell us about the track you are in and some of the related tasks associated with that track?
I specialise in application development. We provide consultancy services from end-to-end in the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC). I have in my team experts who are certified Requirements Engineers and Software Testers.
Are there any major ICT-related projects that you and your department are working on right now?
When you talk about big projects, currently we are providing consulting services for the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD), Accountant General’s Office, Ministry of Human Resources, and the Immigration Department. We are also involved in a host of other small to medium sized projects in various other ministries and departments.
In most cases, the consulting services we provide involves more than one expert because when it comes to development we have to get the experts from database, security and so on to come in, so we have to go in as a team.
The normal practice is when we are engaged, we will have a project charter so that our client (agency) is very clear on the services provided by MAMPU and what the agency will expect to receive from MAMPU.
Could you tell us more about your work relating to application development?
In terms of application development, as far as possible, we want to go for more cost-effective solutions. That has always been our focus and whenever possible, we will go for open source based solutions because the initial funding is cheaper and the total cost of ownership lower, but of course it must be fit for purpose.
How long have you been working in MAMPU?
I am one of the pioneers when it comes to the setting up of this ICT consulting unit in MAMPU. We started way back in November 2008 so I’ve been with them since then. I have been in government service all throughout my career. I started my career with the government way back in 1981.
We were one of the pioneer batches in local universities to graduate in the field of ICT, at that time ICT was very new. I started my career with the Inland Revenue Department as a systems analyst, then after I moved on to the Prime Minister’s department. Before joining MAMPU, I was with the National Institute of Public Administration (INTAN), the training arm of the Public Service Department.