Monday, June 06, 2016

Where is the PM's Municipal Services Office?

Mr. Kong (not his real name) bought a strata unit in an industrial complex. The traffic flow was badly designed. The reflecting mirrors that were installed to warn drivers of approaching vehicles were not functioning correctly. It posed a safety hazard. An accident had occurred.

Mr. Kong sent an email to the Singapore Police Force, the Traffic Police, the Ministry of National Development and the Civil Defence Force to raise this issue.

Why did Mr. Kong have to send this matter to several agencies? I recall that PM Lee set up the Municipal Services Office two years ago to coordinate the work of the agencies that were involved. What happened to this Municipal Services Office? Is it still in existence?

Mr. Kong received a polite reply from two agencies - the standard reply that they send out very quickly. The reply basically says, "We are not responsible for regulating this matter. Please refer to (name of another agency)."

Our civil servants are excellent in avoiding responsibility and in achieving their service standard of giving this kind of prompt reply.

The trouble is - this approach does not solve the underlying problem. Nothing has been done for 3 months to address the safety hazard.

The reply from the Building Control Division, under the Ministry of National Development, is along this line, "We regulates the structural safety of buildings but are not responsible the issue that you have raised. Nevertheless, we have assisted to convey your feedback to the building management and we understand they have taken steps to address the safety issue raised for drivers using building premises."

Apparently, the issue was not addressed after several months.

A better reply from the Building Control Division would have been, "We have discussed this issue with the management committee of the building. They agreed to change the mirrors and will get this done by (date)".

If the Building Control Division studies the issue and agrees that there is a safety hazard, they can convey their view to the management committee. Their view will be taken seriously by the management committee and the matter will be resolved quite quickly. BCD could take the position that they are responsible for the "safety of the building" and not just the "structural safety".

We need to change the mindset of our civil servants and the political leaders. If they continue to take the approach of "avoiding responsibility", matters will continue to get worse.

1 comment:

Yujuan said...

Matter of pre GE and after.
No one is tasked to execute it, so the norm "It's not within my domain," and the matter taichied off to nowhere, making you a merry go round fool.
So you finally give up, frustrated.

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