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MHA National Day Awards 2018: Making a Difference, Engineering Transformation
Recognising the contributions of Home Team officers from the Casino Regulatory Authority and the Central Narcotics Bureau.

002 CRA, CNB

Change can be daunting; just ask William Lee of the Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) and Jerome Leong of the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB). Both men were in their early 30s when they decided to leave the private sector to join the Home Team in pursuit of more meaningful careers. With passion, dedication and grit, they’ve excelled in their roles, receiving the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) National Day Award (Individual) for their contributions.

Legal Eagle with a Passion for Service 
It was a desire to use his legal skills for the greater good that inspired William Lee join the Public Service. “Having done dispute resolution and corporate work as a lawyer, I wanted to do something that was more meaningful,” said the 36-year-old. “I wanted to make a difference to society.” 

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Grateful for the opportunity to play his part: William Lee of the CRA is committed to putting in place a robust regulatory regime for the casinos in Singapore. PHOTO: Home Team News

That’s why William joined the CRA in 2013. “I learnt that the CRA was looking for a legal counsel, and CRA’s mission was very much in line with my personal views on problem gambling,” he recalled. “I believe it’s important to control the potential harm that gambling poses to society.” 

As Senior Legal Counsel of the CRA’s Legal Division, William’s responsibilities include advising the agency on all aspects of the law. From 2013 to 2016, he also served as the Secretary of the CRA’s Disciplinary Committee, helping to enforce disciplinary action against errant casino operators. 

Over the years, William has drawn inspiration from his fellow officers, partners and stakeholders. “One thing that has really impressed me is the passion displayed by Home Team officers, our Board Members and the volunteers within our various communities,” he said. “They serve with passion and a wealth of knowledge, and it has been humbling to work with them.”

He also credits the CRA for helping to foster a strong spirit of innovation. “There’s a strong learning culture here,” he said. “There is much cross-sharing of information and many learning opportunities that help us understand the operating context for different aspects of the CRA’s work.” 

For William, joining the CRA has been very fulfilling. “It’s important that the casino industry is well-regulated and there are responsible gambling measures, programmes and social safeguards in place,” he explained. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to play a part in this; it’s not every day that I get to make a difference, but every day offers an opportunity to do so, and it accumulates.”

Engineering Transformation at the CNB
Jerome Leong’s journey as a Home Affairs Senior Executive (HASE) started in 2010 when he joined the Technology Branch of the Singapore Police Force after five years in the private sector as a software engineer. 

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Transforming how the CNB works: Jerome Leong believes in learning about operational issues and processes in order to transform them. PHOTO: Home Team News

“As a Home Affairs Senior Executive, I appreciate that I have the opportunity be posted within the Home Team and gain exposure across a broad spectrum of roles,” said the 39-year-old. “The challenge of adapting to new environments, colleagues and job scopes – this is something that I enjoy very much.” 

In 2015, Jerome joined the CNB as Project Manager for its transformation projects. “There was a steep learning curve for me in terms of understanding the CNB’s operational processes,” he recalled. “I needed to appreciate the work of our officers on the ground before I could contribute my perspective about how these could be improved.” 

One key project that Jerome is working on is the Integrated Drug Enforcement Administration System II (IDEAS II), which transforms how CNB officers administratively manage cases. “Our current case management system is almost 10 years old,” explained Jerome, “so we need to improve its functions to support the CNB’s operations as we move into the future.” 

Enter IDEAS II, a unified, next-generation investigation and case management system. Designed to reduce the manual recording of case information, IDEAS II digitises administrative processes across the entire spectrum of what CNB officers do, from pre-operations and investigations to conviction and the supervision regime. 

Phase 1 of IDEAS II is expected to be commissioned in 2019, with a range of new initiatives in the works. “For example, to extend the operational capabilities of our officers, we’ll be rolling out new mobile apps for them,” said Jerome. “In the future, our officers will be able to handle a case on the ground and then come back to the office to ‘sync’ the case information with the system.” 

According to Jerome, engineering change requires adaptability and openness. “We have to be resilient and willing to accept new ideas and knowledge,” he said. “I always tell myself that I need to unlearn many things in order to learn again, because the work of the Home Team is so broad and unique!”

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At the Minister for Home Affairs National Day Awards Ceremony. PHOTOS: HTVN

Minister for Home Affairs National Day Awards 2018
The Minister for Home Affairs National Day Award recognises Home Team officers who have distinguished themselves through significant and commendable contributions in their respective areas of work. This year’s award ceremony was held in conjunction with the Home Team National Day Observance Ceremony on 2 August, and saw 105 Individual Award recipients and three Team Award recipients. 

Read the speech given by Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs Mrs Josephine Teo at the Home Team National Day Observance Ceremony.

  1. by Desmond Ang
  2. 10 August 2018
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