RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Pilot project in Tampines to have only one contractor handle municipal services

Integration of services and harnessing of tech and data insights are projected to lead to better maintained neighborhoods.

The Senior Minister of State for National Development Sim Ann announced 4 March that only one contractor will be appointed to handle various municipal services in its new pilot project in Tampines town.

Prior to this announcement and under current practice, the standard is there are multiple contractors handling varying services.

“We also need to address structural barriers that prevent us from providing better services. One such barrier is the delivery of municipal services along agency lines,” he said.

“That is why we are piloting a new model of municipal service delivery in Tampines town later this year. This model integrates municipal services that are already outsourced by Government agencies today around residents’ needs at the township level, rather than by agency and land boundaries,” he added.

The pilot will be a collaboration between the Municipal Services Office (MSO), National Environment Agency, Land Transport Authority, Singapore Police Force, and other agencies.

The MSO said Tampines is the top pick for the pilot as it is considered a mature state with a variety of municipal issues. The pilot will have two stages and is planned to run for three years.

The MSO also enumerated the benefits from having a single contractor. One benefit is that the new model will be able to resolve swiftly municipal issues within the same town. Another benefit is that services will be rolled out more efficiently. This will be done through streamlining operational processes and having workers trained to be multi-skilled to make them flexible and ready to be deployed in a wider range of job functions. It was also noted that locals will be offered more higher-skilled municipal jobs over time.

As for service providers, the benefit is that there will be economies of scale which will incentivise them to invest more in better operations-technology capabilities. The outlook is that if this is achieved, improved services will be delivered at lower cost.

The main thrust for the integration is to have better-maintained neighborhoods for its residents.

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