• IP addresses are NOT logged in this forum so there's no point asking. Please note that this forum is full of homophobes, racists, lunatics, schizophrenics & absolute nut jobs with a smattering of geniuses, Chinese chauvinists, Moderate Muslims and last but not least a couple of "know-it-alls" constantly sprouting their dubious wisdom. If you believe that content generated by unsavory characters might cause you offense PLEASE LEAVE NOW! Sammyboy Admin and Staff are not responsible for your hurt feelings should you choose to read any of the content here.

    The OTHER forum is HERE so please stop asking.

The standard of service from the civil/government services


Alfrescian (Inf)

Auditor-General flags lapses in govt agencies, including transfer of official funds to personal bank accounts​


In its annual audit of government accounts, AGO cited instances of giving excessive IT access rights and over-disbursing support grants. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Goh Yan Han
Political Correspondent

July 19, 2023

SINGAPORE - The People’s Association, Public Service Division, Ministry of Communications and Information and Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore were among the government agencies flagged for lapses and weaknesses in a report released on Wednesday.
In its annual audit of government accounts, the Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) cited instances of awarding contracts to debarred contractors, co-mingling official funds with staff’s personal funds, giving excessive IT access rights, and over-disbursing support grants.
It also highlighted possible irregularities in the records provided to AGO by the State Courts and Singapore Food Agency (SFA).
Both agencies have lodged police reports following AGO’s audit observations.
For the State Courts, there were possible irregularities in the quotations provided for 110 out of 295 items, whose rates were not listed in the contract, for a development project.
AGO had concerns over the authenticity of the quotations provided and whether value for money had been obtained for the items.
For SFA, there were possible irregularities in some quotations for ad-hoc works at facilities it managed, resulting in concerns over authenticity of the quotations.

The AGO report was submitted to the President on July 4, and presented to Parliament on Tuesday.

People’s Association (PA)​

The AGO found that three grassroots organisations (GROs) had awarded contracts to or renewed them with two debarred contractors during their debarment period.
The GROs had either not checked the contractors’ debarment status, or awarded the contracts despite knowing.

Contractors may be debarred from taking on public sector projects for reasons such as withdrawing tenders before they are awarded, poor performance reports, or violation of safety regulations or requirements.
PA had paid about $410,000 to the two contractors for providing lift maintenance and security services.
The report said PA acknowledged the lapses and informed AGO that it would review its guidelines and update its procurement checklist to check on debarment status during bid evaluation and contract renewal.
AGO also test-checked 11 welfare assistance schemes managed by five GROs between April 1, 2019 and May 31, 2022.
It found that the money management practices for these schemes at two GROs were “inappropriate and risky”.

One GRO had transferred $707,000 from its bank account to the personal bank accounts of two staff members in seven instances, in sums ranging from $10,000 to $200,000. This was to enable them to withdraw monies for cash disbursements to welfare assistance recipients at festive events.
The other GRO transferred $334,500 to a staff member’s personal bank account for the person to reimburse hawkers and merchants under a voucher assistance scheme.
This was done in 46 instances between July 2020 and November 2021, with transfer amounts ranging from $500 to $21,200.
According to PA, these practices were implemented due to operational needs. AGO said that for proper accountability, monies of GROs should not be co-mingled with staff’s personal monies, and such practices were inappropriate.
While the checks did not find evidence of monies being lost or misappropriated in those two cases, such practices pose significant risk of loss or misappropriation, said AGO.
Both GROs have since stopped these practices.
PA said it would conduct briefings and training on managing monies in welfare assistance schemes, and implement digital payments for disbursements to reduce cash handling.
It would also pilot having selected GROs start using the Government’s electronic voucher system.
AGO also found in its checks into eight GROs, that two did not enter into formal agreements with external service partners, when implementing community projects for residents that had started many years ago.
The report also flagged that PA had either not deactivated, or deactivated late, more than 3,000 user accounts in its volunteer management system, Grassroots E-Mart System and Grassroots Financial Accounting System – after users had left PA, or stepped down from their GRO appointments.
MOF has begun recovery of GST Voucher U-Save rebates given to ineligible households
SSG acknowledges gaps in levy collection, is updating its IT system: Gan Siow Huang
Of these, 16 user accounts had logged into the volunteer management system and accounting system after their last day of service, and one of them had created six payment transactions worth $624.85 after their last day.
PA said the staff member returned his laptop six days after his last day of service, deviating from PA’s procedures. He had used the laptop and accessed his account in those six days to clear work, and there was no ill intention to misuse access into the system.
AGO also found significant lapses in the evaluation and award of two maintenance services tenders, and one cleaning services tender.
In a statement on Wednesday, PA said it is committed to resolving and improving its governance, procurement and oversight processes.
It has set up a review committee to look at the latest AGO findings together with existing and planned remedies, and will recommend to its board any further interventions.
Both the AGO report and PA statement did not specify the constituencies where the lapses occurred. The Straits Times has contacted PA for more information.

Public Service Division (PSD)​

An IT general controls audit was conducted for the PSD’s human resource and payroll system, which serves over 186,000 users across the Government.
AGO said it found weaknesses which may compromise the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the system and data residing in the system.
These included weak controls over the most privileged operating system and database accounts, and weaknesses in the review of accounts and administrators’ accounts in the system.
Excessive access rights were given to IT vendor staff, which would allow them to modify or delete data files.
Excessive access rights were also granted to vendor staff, to the keys used for encryption or decryption of data files.

Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI)​

In 2022, the AGO reported lapses in MCI’s administration of the Whole-of-Government Period Contract and Framework Agreement (WOG PCFA).
After the first WOG PCFA expired, MCI established a second one in April 2022.
AGO’s review of the tender recommendation report for the second agreement found that out of 108 tenderers appointed to a panel, MCI had appointed five that did not meet the evaluation criteria.
MCI informed AGO that it viewed this as a serious lapse, and that all five vendors had since been removed from the panel.
MCI has also set up a dedicated procurement team.

Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS)​

The CAAS had administered several grants to support the aviation industry amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Between Sept 1, 2020 and March 31, 2022, $114.52 million was disbursed for one of the schemes.
AGO found over-disbursements amounting to $1 million, indicating that CAAS’ checks and controls were inadequate in ensuring grants disbursed were valid, accurate and in compliance with grant terms and conditions.
These over-disbursements were due to erroneous claims made by companies which had included ineligible employees who did not meet criteria such as citizenship or having a valid professional licence during the period of claim.
The report also said that for the same grant, certain eligibility criteria were either stated inaccurately or not stated in the grant agreements.
CAAS said each company receiving the grants had been required to appoint an external auditor, who did not flag these errors.
The authority said it would tighten its controls and processes for future grant disbursements and follow up to recover the over-disbursed amounts.


"The two have been suspended, and will have to undergo re-training and re-certification before they can resume their duties, said Mr Neo at a media briefing."

If both were in the private sector, both would have been sacked.
Just two!!?? Dot thinks all the employees have to undergo re-training and re-certification.

Two SMRT staff suspended after human error worsened MRT disruption on Oct 14
The two SMRT staff had misread equipment at the substation and thought that the power fault in Tuas had been isolated.

The two SMRT staff had misread equipment at the substation and thought that the power fault in Tuas had been isolated.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Clement Yong

    OCT 28, 2020, 10:49 PM SGT

SINGAPORE - When a power fault first struck the North-South and East-West lines on Oct 14, SMRT's first focus was to avoid having to evacuate passengers on stalled trains, said its chief executive Neo Kian Hong on Wednesday (Oct 28).

That was why the operator decided to draw power from an alternative substation in Buona Vista, in a bid to restore service along the affected stations more quickly.

But two of its employees - a supervisor and a staff member - misread equipment at the substation and thought that the power fault in Tuas had been isolated when it had not.

The failure to isolate the fault before drawing power caused a voltage dip at the substation, which powers the Circle Line (CCL). This caused a power trip and affected service on the CCL.

The two have been suspended, and will have to undergo re-training and re-certification before they can resume their duties, said Mr Neo at a media briefing.

He also said that SMRT took "a lot of safety precautions" when it decided that it had to evacuate passengers from the stalled trains, to maintain the safety and well-being of commuters on board.

These included suspending detrainment for one of the trains near Bukit Batok at 8.44pm due to rain and lightning risk.

The train, which was the last to be cleared of passengers, was emptied only at 9.43pm, two hours and 45 minutes after the fault began.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Wednesday said passengers had to be detrained from 15 stalled trains - three on the Circle Line and 12 on the North-South and East-West lines.

Commuters getting out of the train onto the tracks near Kranji station

Detrainment was completed within 20 minutes on the Circle Line, but took more than an hour for those on the North-South and East-West lines.

In a report released on Wednesday, the LTA said it had received feedback that more updates should be provided on the situation leading up to the detrainment, "for better awareness and preparedness".

SMRT will continue to improve its communications during disruptions, and arrange for its staff to provide commuters in stalled trains with more updates, the LTA said.

It noted that regular bus services plying the affected stations were made free immediately, and 120 shuttle buses were mobilised to ferry commuters.

"There were periods of crowd congestion at the bus points of the affected stations initially and later at the stations where trains turned around," the LTA said.

Crowds waiting to board buses at Queenstown MRT station, after a power fault led to the suspension of train services, on Oct 14, 2020.

Investigations conducted later that night found that power cables located around 500m from Tuas Link station along the Tuas West Extension were burnt through.

There were short circuits between three cables on the upper layer of the two-layer power cable network, which led to a high fault current burning through the cables.

The burnt section of cable that led to the massive disruption on Oct 14, 2020. PHOTO: LTA

In addition, a trip coil - a component of a nearby circuit breaker which should have kicked in to isolate the fault - was found to have melted. This caused the circuit breaker to fail.

The LTA said repair works on the faulty power cables between Tuas Link and Tuas West Road stations were completed over two nights, on Oct 16 and 17.

The faulty trip coil was replaced on the night of the incident itself.

A trip coil that melted caused the circuit breaker to fail, leading to the disruption on Oct 14, 2020. PHOTO LTA

SMRT checked all trip coils along the Tuas West Extension as a precaution, and found two other trip coils that "exhibited inconsistent performance that could result in a similar failure".

French firm Alstom - which supplied the power system - is conducting forensic investigations on the faulty trip coils, the LTA said.

The report also revealed that the Tuas West Extension had experienced similar cable faults since it began operations in May 2017.

Two cable faults occurred in 2018, and two more occurred this year, in January and June.

The faults all occurred at the upper layer of the cables, along different stretches along the MRT extension line. Train services were not affected because the circuit breakers kicked in to isolate the faulty cables, the LTA said.

After the fault in June, Alstom had agreed to replace all upper layer power cables with cables that have tougher insulation. The replacement was scheduled to start this month.

It had also agreed to a 20-year warranty extension for the lower layer cables.

Following the Oct 14 disruption, Alstom also agreed to replace all the lower layer cables. In all, it will replace about 150km of cables along the Tuas West Extension by the end of next year, at its own cost.
Use wrong cable tie again??


Alfrescian (Inf)

Forum: Too long a wait for SNEC appointment for subsidised patients​

AUG 12, 2023, 5:00 AM SGT

Recently, I called up the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) to make appointments for my elderly parents to have their eyes checked.
My mum has cataracts and suffers from blurred vision, and my dad’s lower eyelid has been swollen for years. They were examined by a doctor at a polyclinic and were referred to the SNEC for further review and treatment.
I was shocked when I was informed by the SNEC that the next available appointment date as a subsidised patient is in September 2024, which is more than a year away. I was told that the long waiting time was due to a shortage of doctors.
The SNEC also said that if I opted for the non-subsidised route, the waiting time is shorter and the earliest date available is in October this year. But if I opted for no subsidy, it would have to be “non-subsidised all the way” and my parents would not be able to switch back to being subsidised patients.
As the waiting time for appointments for subsidised patients is way too long, I had no choice but to go for the non-subsidised route for my parents to get them an appointment as soon as possible.
Such inflexibility has financial implications, as the cost of cataract surgery without the appropriate subsidy is much higher.
I urge the Government to relook the healthcare scheme and subsidies, especially for the elderly, who may not be able to wait long to seek appropriate medical care.

Edwin Goh


Alfrescian (Inf)

SKH patient buys Panadol via foodpanda after long wait; hospital says it prioritises emergency cases​


TikTok user Jombadok, in a video posted last week, claims that he waited for his painkillers for almost two hours before he decided to order them via foodpanda. PHOTOS: SCREENGRAB FROM TIKTOK

Elaine Lee

Sep 19, 2023

SINGAPORE – Sengkang General Hospital (SKH) says it prioritises patients in emergency cases over the less serious ones, after an inpatient complained on TikTok that he had to buy painkillers via foodpanda after waiting for almost two hours at the hospital for the medicine.
In a Facebook post on Monday, SKH said it was aware of a TikTok video circulating online of a patient ordering Panadol via the food delivery app as a result “of an alleged lack of promptness by the hospital in addressing his needs”.
Addressing the allegation, SKH said it would like to assure the public that the patient’s care team had “rendered the appropriate care” based on his condition.
“SKH is committed to attending to every patient in a timely manner,” it added. “Patients with less acute conditions may sometimes experience longer waiting times compared with those who are being treated for serious urgent and life-threatening emergencies.”
TikTok user Jombadok, in a video posted last week, claims that he waited for his painkillers for almost two hours before he decided to order them via foodpanda. The reason for his hospitalisation is not explained.
“Can you imagine... (I’m) asking for Panadol and I cannot get the medicine from a first-world hospital... it is really ridiculous,” he says in the video.
Filming himself collecting his painkillers from a foodpanda delivery rider at the hospital lobby, he tells the rider, who appears surprised, about his situation. Jombadok does not say how long it took for his delivery to arrive.

He adds that it is his first time warded at SKH and he will be discharging himself from the hospital against medical advice the next day because he is unable to get medication from the hospital.
“No point. I might as well (stay) at home. I have my painkillers at home... (the hospital) is a let-down,” he says in the video.
The Straits Times has reached out to Jombadok and SKH for more information.

Last edited:


Alfrescian (Inf)

Escalator at MRT station out of service since March​

Sep 22, 2023

While adjustments in bus and train fares are necessary, they should be aligned with service quality too (Bus, train fares to rise by up to 11 cents for adults; new $96 concession pass for low-wage workers, Sept 19).

An escalator at Lorong Chuan MRT station has been out of service since March and is expected to remain so until December 2023, as indicated by signs at the station.

This prolonged unavailability has inconvenienced commuters. While escalator repairs may not be as critical as maintaining train services, a nine-month repair timeframe seems excessive. Is this extended closure a cost-saving measure, and is it deemed acceptable by the operator and regulator?

Josephine Lim Teo Hwee


Alfrescian (Inf)

Forum: Abandoned bicycle still there despite reporting it many times​

SEP 5, 2023

Next to a bus stop in Yio Chu Kang Road is an abandoned bicycle that has been there for months. One wheel is missing, it is slowly rusting away and weeds have grown over it.
I have reported it many times via the OneService and LifeSG apps after noticing that it had been abandoned for months. A while after I first reported it on June 18, a notice was placed on the bicycle requiring the owner to remove it by a certain date, or it would be removed by the authorities.
It has been almost two months since the deadline passed, and the bicycle is still there.
I wonder if this case is similar to that of the fishball stick discarded on a walkway that was not removed as it was unclear which agency was responsible, and which led to the formation of the Municipal Services Office (MSO).
Is the bicycle still there because it is not clear which agency is responsible for clearing it? How difficult is it for any agency to remove a bicycle?
And now that the MSO exists, why are lapses like this still occurring?

Adam Reutens-Tan