Saturday, 4 October 2014

One-stop municipal issues office opens

Smartphone app in the works for people to report on trouble spots
By Tham Yuen-C, The Straits Times, 3 Oct 2014

A SMARTPHONE app for people to report on municipal matters and send them directly to a one-stop office will be ready by the start of next year.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Grace Fu said this in an update on her Facebook page yesterday when announcing that the Municipal Services Office (MSO), which she heads, has officially opened for business.

The much anticipated office, which will handle municipal issues that involve multiple government agencies, will use smart technology to make it convenient for Singaporeans to provide feedback on such issues, she said.

A smartphone application, which the MSO said was being developed, will be launched by January next year.

It will allow people to snap photos of trouble spots, tag on location information and send this directly to the MSO, which can then use it to respond to complaints quickly, Ms Fu said.

The MSO will also develop an "integrated system" that different public agencies can use to share and monitor complaints on municipal matters, and work together to resolve them.

This follows Ms Fu's announcement last month that the MSO would establish a standard procedure for public agencies to receive, handle and track feedback, to ensure that complaints are attended to within a stipulated time.

The new system will be used by the eight agencies that the MSO is working with for a start.

These are the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, national water agency PUB, National Parks Board, Housing Board, Land Transport Authority (LTA), Singapore Police Force (SPF), People's Association, and National Environment Agency.

Ms Fu, who has visited the SPF and LTA to find out more about how the agencies handle feedback on municipal issues, said she would be visiting the six other agencies over the next few months.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced during the National Day Rally in August that the MSO would be set up to ensure public agencies coordinate better to provide services that involve more than one of them.

It comes under the Ministry of National Development (MND).

Even before its official opening on Wednesday, it had been receiving feedback and resolving cases, Ms Fu said in an earlier interview last month.

Writing about her visit to the MSO yesterday, she said: "The MSO has been set up... Happy to meet the officers, all enthusiastic and passionate about the mission of MSO."

The MSO has a website at, which lists the hotline numbers of the various agencies categorised by the matters they handle, such as public cleanliness, mosquito breeding and transport infrastructure, among other things.

Municipal Services Office to look into coordinating grass-cutting services
By Robin Choo, TODAY, 10 Dec 2014

The Municipal Services Office (MSO) is looking into coordinating grass-cutting services across different public spaces, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Grace Fu yesterday.

Currently, greenery is managed and maintained by the agency that owns the land. For example, the National Parks Board (NParks) handles grass along major roads and park connectors, while national water agency PUB oversees grass-cutting on paths next to canals and the Singapore Land Authority takes care of grass on vacant state lands.

As a result, the grass in various public spaces are cut at different frequencies and according to differing standards, Ms Fu told reporters after a visit to Pang Sua Park Connector.

Ms Fu, who heads the newly-established MSO, shared that a member of the public said he had found it strange that the grass in some parts of the park connector was cut well, but that in other parts were not, and this had affected his experience of the place.

“Whether it’s with upkeep of the place or (about) snakes or animals ... when you have a standard set of officers monitoring, maintaining (the area) and understanding the needs of the residents ... we can bring better public services to them,” she said.

“Different agencies may have their considerations, but what we are trying to do at the MSO is to look at it from the residents’ and the public’s point of view.”

The setting up of the MSO was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at this year’s National Day Rally. Set up under the Ministry of National Development, the MSO will coordinate several government agencies and “single-mindedly focus on service delivery”, as Mr Lee put it.

The agencies are the Land Transport Authority, the National Environment Agency, NParks, PUB, the Housing and Development Board, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, the People’s Association and the police.

No comments:

Post a Comment