Sunday, March 24, 2013

Making life difficult for the public

Read this document to understand the trouble that the public has to go through to submit an online application to a government agency. The people who design the websites are most inconsiderate, and waste a lot of time of the public with pages of unnecessary and misleading information, and breaks up their forms into many web-pages with a high risk of wrong navigation, browser error and internet connection issues. 

I have sent this letter to the Acting Minister for Manpower. 

I experienced similar difficulties with many government agencies. They follow the same approach - make life easy for themselves and give "hell" to the public.


Unknown said...

Here is the PDF form:

Which is linked to from

rex said...

I was trying to file my income tax on website, and in the pass i never had problems.

This year, however, i could not get pass the SINGPASS screen to the iras site. It was very strange. I tried SINGPASS to access cpf site, ok, no problem.

So i thought it was XP problem, i went to another PC running Windows 7, again, i have ridiculous error msg after key in singpass password.

I contacted IRAS it took them 3 days to respond. The first guy on help desk was useless, he doesn seem techie at all, just keep asking me general questions and even said maybe my internet connection bad. When he gave up he said he will have someone contact me next day. I asked him what if no one call me, i got SHOCKED when he said "do you mean you doubt my capability". Wah lau! This kind of help desk support.

Sure enough the next day NOBODY called me.

A few days later i contact another helpdesk line, and a kind lady tried to help me and asked me to send screenshot of the error to her. Despite all her efforts and follow up later, up to today, Monday 24th, i am still UNABLE to access IRAS via Windows XP or Windows 7. Coincidentally, i bought a windows 8 computer yesterday and iras website ok.

It seems IRAS is giving up on older computers. You cannot seem to access IRAS via singpass anymore on any version of windows other than Windows 8.

Does anyone have similar encounter?


yujuan said...

Rex, same encounter this year.
Fed up, brought all info to IRAS E-filing counter, and ask officer to file my tax, at least my blood pressure reading dun go hay wire, and the service is free of charge.

rex said...

hello, Mr Yujuan,

I am quite sure that there must be a very large number of people suffering in silence. I do not understand how Singpass common portal, could not connect to IRAS website account, when it could connect to CPF website. It can't be a problem with my pc, it is quite obvious is it not?

The IRAS people could still not explain and to date, they asked me to update my JAVA, and also turn my IE to "compatibility view"which I did.

However it was unsuccessful and I get always an error msg "cannot connect beause taking too much time" which flash immediately after I key in the correct SINGPASS to iras website. (both XP and also Windows7 IE9 also face this problem).

The helpdesk lady was helpful but not techie enough, and the last call with her, after she asked me to update Java and compatibility view, she said she will "check again with IT department". I am waiting for her next call soon.

May I appeal to more readers here, are you able to file income tax return and enter IRAS site via Singpass, assuming your pc is windows xp, or windows 7?


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