ECONOMY DRIVE IN THE PUBLIC
SECTOR FOR FISCAL YEAR 2006
Public agencies have together achieved
savings of $559 million under the Economy Drive (ED) initiative in FY 06
(i.e. from 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007). This represents 1.68% of the
agencies¨ total cash budget.
The central ED message for FY06 continues to
be ＾Save where you can, spend where you need￣. Much of the ED efforts
revolved around simplifying requirements, standardising to minimize
costly customisation, and synergising to share resources and avoid
duplication. Examples of some ED efforts of public officers are at Annex
Public Feedback to Cut Waste Panel
Separately, public feedback to Cut Waste
Panel has resulted in once-off savings of $8.7m and recurrent annual
savings of $2.9m. The Cut Waste Panel (CWP), is chaired by Head Civil
Service and comprises representatives from the private and people
Since the launch of the CWP in September
2003, the CWP has received 3,310 suggestions on cutting waste in the
The public agencies agreed with the majority
(i.e. 85% or 2,813) of the cut-waste suggestions. The remaining 15% (or
497 suggestions) were found not suitable for implementation.
Of those accepted, 96% (or 2,710
suggestions) were already implemented by the agencies. The remaining 4%
(or 103 suggestions) are in the process of implementation or will be
More details of the public suggestions
received by the CWP can be found at
Ministry of Finance
of Initiatives under the Economy Drive in FY06
CREATE SYNERGY WITH THE PUBLIC!
The scope for synergy goes beyond government agencies and includes the
public as well. Take the the Singapore
Sports Council (SSC), for instance, which opened up 51 school fields for
public use outside curriculum hours under the Dual-Use Scheme. Savings
were obtained by constructing semi-portable container cabin toilets and
changing rooms instead of permanent ones. This reduced the time and cost
of construction, achieving real savings of $3.7m, or 50% of the original
$7.5m budget for capital expenditure for school fields.
PREVENTION, THE BEST MEDICINE!
An ounce of
prevention is worth a pound of cure. When Sembawang
Airbase-Air Logistics Squadron found corrosion on the
aluminium alloy tip blocks of its (Super Puma) rotor
blades, it did not go the usual route of replacing the
expensive titanium tip blocks. Instead, they applied
zinc chromate coating on all screw holes to act as a
sacrificial layer to prevent corrosion, saving $15.9m
in the process.
KNOW YOUR BUILDING MATERIALS!
Public officers realise that there is great scope for
savings in development projects. Reviewing and
optimising of building designs, procurement methods
and building materials used can make a big difference,
as the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Ministry of
Foreign Affairs (MFA) can attest to.
In the case of MOE, a
systematic approach has been adopted to review school
buildings designed by project consultants at every
stage of the development process so as to ensure
value-for-money for MOE. The school designs,
architectural details and finishes were reviewed and
scaled down as necessary, including the use of
alternative materials and finishes. There was a
savings of $16.18m in FY06 for MOE from the process.
These changes were made without compromise to school
functions and operations.
In MFA¨s case, its
new Chancery project in Manila was originally tendered
out based on a ｀lump sum¨ contract. However, the local
contractors in Manila were not familiar with lump sum
contracts and they factored in a hefty contingency in
their bids. Hence, MFA changed the tender to a
bills-of-quantities contract which the local
contractors were more familiar with. In addition, MFA
also localised the specifications to use more locally
available building materials, which also contributed
to the overall cost savings for the project, resulting
in savings of $1.67m.
Examples of Accepted CWP Suggestions in FY06
PEDESTRIAN CHECKER PLATE COVER FOR DRAIN
The pedestrian chequered plate at the Hougang Mall
open area gets damaged whenever there are outdoor
events held at the open grass patch. This is due to
heavy vehicle or machinery moving on top of the
The suggestor suggested that the lorry contractor
should lay a metal sheet above the checker plate to
PUB has accepted the suggestion and has included a
condition for its contractor to protect the drain with
a metal sheet or other suitable means.
PUB has also informed HDB/Town Council of this new
requirement and requested them to include this as a
condition in their permit for staging events near the
OPEN COMPETITION POOL TO PUBLIC
The Toa Payoh Swimming Complex has a total of four
pools - one wading pool, one teaching pool and two
competition pools - out of which one competition pool
is reserved mainly for the use by the Singapore
Swimming Association's (SSA) Centre of Excellence
(COE) programme while the remaining three pools are
open to the public.
The suggestor suggested that both competition pools be
opened to the public when there are no activities.
At present, the competition pool has a utilisation
rate of 75% on weekdays. The pool is used by 4
different groups of swimmers from the COE programme
and the People's Association Youth Swimming Club (PAYSC).
As each group consists of at least 40 swimmers, their
training schedules are staggered to avoid congestion
in the pool. The available time slot where the pool
can be open to the public on most weekdays is from
11am to 2pm, which is considered a lull period, since
the pool receives the least number of patrons during
that time slot. As for utilisation during weekends,
the SSA, the COE programme and PAYSC have training
sessions in the morning and evening. That leaves a
window of approximately 2.5 hours each on Saturdays
The competition pool at Toa Payoh is also often booked
by external parties such as schools and private
establishments for swimming carnivals and other
events. These exclusive bookings take precedence over
all other activities, including the SSA and PAYSC's
Arising from the suggestion to open up the competition
pool if there is no usage on that day, SSC has
re-assessed the situation. It will open the Toa Payoh
Centre of Excellence for public use on weekends when
there are no bookings or training sessions committed.
Media Release 3 Jul 2007
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