Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen,
1 Thank you for joining us. Since our meeting with the NSA Presidents last week, you'll be happy to know that we are now ready to speak publicly and move forward regarding the professional management of NSAs.
2 The sports scene in Singapore has transformed since the committee on Sporting Singapore laid out a comprehensive blueprint for sport development in the year 2000. Since then, Singapore has been catapulted onto the world's sports stage after hosting high profile international sports events, we are winning more medals than we ever have in our sporting history and Singaporeans are beginning to appreciate the value that sport can bring to our country like never before.
3 Credit must go to the entire sporting fraternity, including our NSAs who have been a key driving force in these major achievements.
4 More recently, we have maintained our top ranking as Asia's top sports city, although our international ranking slipped a few notches from 2nd to 6th. At home, we are also seeing greater demand for sport from the public, people and private sectors as the value of sport to society becomes clearer to everyone.
5 For us at the Sports Council, this is a happy problem. It is a problem that would require the collective efforts of the entire sporting fraternity, especially the SSC and NSAs, to propel us forward even as we anticipate new challenges and opportunities brought about by major developments such as the completion of the Sports Hub in 2014 and major events such as the 2015 SEA Games.
6 To meet these future challenges, emphasis must be placed on developing the organisational effectiveness of the SSC as well as NSAs. Only when we have systems and processes embedded into our organisation DNA will we be able to continue punching above our weight in the world's sporting stage and delivering the value of sport to Singaporeans.
7 Enhancing Organisational Effectiveness, which will lead to the professionalisation of NSAs, is a recurring theme in our relationship with NSAs since the COSS report. Along the way, we have enhanced and refined the tools to help NSAs up their game.
8 The two key tools that have helped us improve the OE of NSAs are the OE Framework, which has been in place since 2006 and the Code of Governance for Charities which was introduced in 2007.
9 The SSC has worked in close consultation with the NSAs to improve the OE framework to further professionalise NSAs. It has been, and will continue to be, a biennial assessment that will give NSAs a good sense of where they are in terms of their professional development.
10 Fundamentally, we are changing the emphasis assigned to each category of evaluation. In this revised system, we are placing a stronger emphasis on leadership development and succession planning. If NSAs are to grow their sport in future or see administrators assume positions on the IFs, they need to plan for succession now. They need to begin developing leaders who can take on increasing responsibility in the years to come.
11 Thus, we are giving NSAs the flexibility and autonomy to customise their tenure limits - deemed appropriate to their sport. NSAs will still be required to spell out the rationale for their tenure limits. Our flexibility on tenure limits does not mean that SSC is altering our stance on the importance of leadership development and succession planning.
12 Regardless of our various roles and capacities, our shared purpose must always be to serve the community at large, responsibly and transparently. The accountability for public funds and the assurance of proper governance in NSAs were also critical considerations as we revised the OE framework. As the lead agency for sport development, SSC has a duty of care to ensure that the public funds disbursed to our NSAs are well-managed.
13 Therefore, the professionalisation of NSAs in this respect is critical. Higher standards within NSA management will produce benefits within their respective sport. If the NSAs are to remain a relevant force in sport and athlete development, they must develop stronger systems and processes. Opportunities for closer collaborations and sponsorships with Corporate Singapore will expand on the back of the NSAs' rising professionalism.
14 We acknowledge that our NSAs need time to prepare for this transition. The revised OE framework will come into effect over 2 years from 2013 and 2014. In the meantime, the SSC will continue to work closely with the NSAs to help them address gaps in their OE journey. We will continue to play a strong facilitating role in terms of helping them source for suitable candidates to fill vacant positions, as well as aiding in the refinement of their system and processes in order to ensure sustained business continuity.
15 At the end of the day, we (SSC and NSAs) may form different parts of the equations, but ultimately, we are part of the *same* equation. We are bound by our shared vision and aspirations for sport. We are partners, and the best way forward is a road travelled together.
16 I'm confident that as we continue our OE journey with the NSAs, we will be able to realise our vision of helping Singaporeans live better through sports.
17 Thank you.