SINGAPORE: Singapore Post (SingPost) was fined S$300,000 for not meeting the service standards for delivering local basic letters, international basic letters and registered mail in 2018, said the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) on Friday (Mar 29).
The regulator also completed its investigations of the case of the postman Liu Zhengang who had discarded returned mail and advertisement mails at Reflections at Keppel Bay in 2018, and issued an advisory to him after finding that he breached the Postal Services Act.
Under IMDA’s Postal Quality of Service (QoS) framework, SingPost is required to deliver 99 per cent of local basic letters to an address within the Central Business District (CBD) and 98 per cent of local basic letters to destinations outside the CBD by the next working day, the regulator said in a media release.
SingPost did not deliver 99 per cent of local basic letters within the CBD by the next working day for four months in 2018, the regulator said.
Additionally, it failed to meet the standard of achieving 100 per cent delivery of local basic letters and registered basic letters by the second working day.
IMDA said it failed the above threshold for local basic letters for nine months in 2018, and that of registered basic letters for four months last year.
The Postal QoS framework also requires SingPost to deliver 99 per cent of international incoming basic letters received before 3pm at Singapore Post Centre to an address within the CBD and 98 per cent of international incoming basic letters to destinations outside the CBD by the next working day.
SingPost also has to despatch 100 per cent of processed outgoing basic letters to departing flights by the next working day.
SingPost did not meet the requirements for the delivery of international incoming basic letters within the CBD by the next working day in three months.
IMDA said it took into account that the postal service operator had 20 incidents of non-compliance in 2018, as compared to nine incidents in 2017 when assessing the penalties.
It also factored that these were repeated failures and, in some cases, involved lost letters.
"Nevertheless, IMDA also noted that the failure margins in 2018 were generally lower on average as compared to the year before," it said in its press release.
This is the second fine the national postal service operator has received in consecutive months. It was fined S$100,000 for failing to meet the postal QoS standards for 2017.
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As for the case of Mr Liu, IMDA noted he had been dismissed by SingPost after the incident and has returned to China.
For his breaching of the Postal Service Act, an advisory was issued to him and he will be barred from employment in Singapore and will be arrested if he returns to Singapore. IMDA reserves the right to prosecute him, it added.
The regulator also issued an advisory to SingPost to remind of its obligations to safeguard mail integrity and security and to train and educate its staff to perform their task properly.
"IMDA takes a very serious view of any lapses in SingPost’s mail services and has directed SingPost to take urgent steps to improve its service standards and restore public confidence in its postal services."
On its end, SingPost said it accepts the financial penalty imposed for missing QoS standards in 2018.
A company spokesperson reiterated the measures the company said it is making to improve service quality such as increasing the number of postmen, extending mail delivery hours as well as reducing non-core mail businesses.
It is also concurrently conducting a comprehensive and fundamental review of its postal operations, including the use of new technologies to raise reliability and service standards, the spokesperson added.
"With these measures, we are confident that service quality will improve going forward," the spokesperson said.
"Customer trust and satisfaction are of paramount importance to us, and it is the company’s immediate priority to raise postal service quality standards and regain the trust of the public."