SINGAPORE: To make it more convenient for the public to reach the Municipal Services Office (MSO), a new crowdsourcing app feature along with a web portal are being introduced, said Minister of Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu on Monday (April 11).
Ms Fu heads the MSO, which works with Government agencies to improve feedback management for municipal services.
She announced that MSO’s OneService mobile phone app will add a crowdsourcing feature to collect information that helps agencies address municipal issues for which users do not expect a reply.
The feature will be piloted in a Spot Abandoned Trolleys initiative - operational by the end of April - which will see the MSO working with five supermarket chains (Cold Storage, Giant, Mustafa Shopping Centre, NTUC FairPrice and Sheng Siong) to help retrieve abandoned supermarket trolleys.
“I am sure many of us have encountered the odd supermarket trolley at void decks or walkways, which caused obstruction or was being used as a litter dump,” said Ms Fu. “So when you next see an abandoned trolley, simply use the OneService app to submit its location. We will pump the data to the supermarkets which will go round to collect them periodically.
“This is a win-win arrangement – for residents there will be fewer abandoned trolleys in the community; for supermarkets they will be able to retrieve their trolleys more efficiently.”
“If the Spot Abandoned Trolleys initiative works well, we will look at expanding crowdsourcing arrangements to other municipal issues,” she added.
On top of the app, MSO will launch the OneService web portal this year, which gathers relevant information from partner agencies that affects specific neighbourhoods - such as dengue clusters, HDB block-cleaning schedules, and traffic incidents.
“You can also report and track your feedback on either the app or web portal through the same account,” said Ms Fu. “We hope our efforts will make it even easier for you to interact with Government agencies on issues relating to you and your neighbourhood.”
LTA AS FIRST RESPONDER
In her Committee of Supply speech to Parliament, Ms Fu also announced that LTA will be the first responder for feedback on maintenance of connectivity-related infrastructure such as cycling paths, ramps, staircases, overhead bridges and lifts, promenades and pedestrianised streets.
“What this means is that if you see a damaged footpath or sheltered linkway, and are unsure of whom to contact, you can use the OneService app, which will route such cases to LTA to assess and lead in the response,” said Ms Fu.
“As First Responder, LTA will promptly attend to cases of public safety concerns to mitigate the risks. For non-emergencies, LTA will also be a first point-of-contact and coordinate the issue although the repair might be done by another agency.”
ALL TOWN COUNCILS ON BOARD
Additionally, all 16 Town Councils in Singapore have agreed to collaborate with MSO after the success of pilot partnerships with Jurong-Clementi and Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Councils, said Ms Fu.
“MSO co-created a manual with the pilot Town Councils and our agencies to clarify responsibilities for common municipal issues and facilitate prompt referrals,” she revealed. “This is to ensure that residents’ feedback will be promptly attended to, regardless of who they first approach.”
The other Town Councils will now be progressively brought on-board from April to the fourth quarter of the year.
“Each Town Council has its unique processes and systems, and we will need time to work with each of them to ease the transition,” said Ms Fu. “This means that by the end of this year, residents across the island will be able to benefit from the closer coordination between Town Councils and Government agencies.”