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     FrontPage Edition: Tue 3 July 2007

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Economy drive saves the Government $559m in FY06



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 A.
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 sectors.
Since the launch of the CWP in September 2003, the CWP has received 3,310 suggestions on cutting waste in the public sector.
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 implemented soon.
More details of the public suggestions received by the CWP can be found at

Issued by:

Ministry of Finance

3 July 2007

Annex A


Examples of Initiatives under the Economy Drive in FY06



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.



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.



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.

Annex B


Examples of Accepted CWP Suggestions in FY06




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 chequered plate.


The suggestor suggested that the lorry contractor should lay a metal sheet above the checker plate to prevent damage.


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 drainage structures.



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 and Sundays.



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 training sessions.


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.

Source: Media Release 3 Jul 2007

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