SINGAPORE: The Housing and Development Board (HDB) had inadequate monitoring of car park operations and enforcement, the Auditor-General's Office said in a report released on Tuesday (Jul 26).
The AGO test-checked the records of five car parks at HDB's industrial estates for the period of April 2014 to August 2015, and found 113,103 instances where vehicles were not charged parking fees.
Based on the Electronic Parking System (EPS), the vehicles had either an entry or exit record but not both, which means incomplete records logged. As a result, the EPS was unable to charge parking fees estimated at S$159,000, the report said.
There was also no evidence that HDB had followed up on the significant number of incomplete records to assess whether there were control weaknesses in the management of the car parks or non-performance by the operators, resulting in revenue loss, the AGO said.
The AGO had followed up by checking the camera footage over four days at two car parks with significant instances of incomplete records, and found 243 instances where the motorists had, on multiple occasions, manipulated the EPS to allow another vehicle to exit the car parks without paying fees, through tailgating, for example.
As for residential car parks, AGO found that there were 2,501 instances for the period of April 2015 to September 2015 where vehicles had exited the EPS car parks without making payments on more than three occasions in a month.
Despite receiving monthly reports from operators on such repeated instances of non-payment, HDB did not take any action against these motorists, it added.
Currently, the agency has outsourced the operation of its 24 EPS car parks at industrial estates and 952 EPS car parks at residential estates to commercial operators at an average total cost of S$78.39 million per annum, AGO said.
To these findings, HDB said it had since taken action to carry out thorough analyses of reports from car park operators and to amend the Parking Places Rules to enable it to take action against motorists who evade parking fees.
The agency had also made police reports against these motorists who had deliberately manipulated the EPS to evade parking fees in industrial estates, the report said.
The HDB, together with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), had in June announced parking rates will be increased come this December. They had cited the increased costs of building, operating and managing car parks as some of the reasons for the islandwide revision of rates.