ITE staff must pay for parking from October

From October, ITE staff will be charged season parking rates of $80 and $110 a month for surface and sheltered carparks respectively, in line with rates at the nearby HDB carparks. Nanyang Polytechnic staff will also pay for parking from October.
From October, ITE staff will be charged season parking rates of $80 and $110 a month for surface and sheltered carparks respectively, in line with rates at the nearby HDB carparks. Nanyang Polytechnic staff will also pay for parking from October.PHOTO: DON WONG FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Auditor-General's Office in 2015 faulted educational institutions for free or cheaper staff parking

All Institute of Technical Education (ITE) staff will need to pay for parking from October.

They were informed yesterday that they will be charged season parking rates of $80 and $110 per month for surface and sheltered carparks respectively - in line with rates at the nearby HDB carparks.

The move comes two years after an Auditor-General's Office (AGO) report had faulted some educational institutions for allowing their staff to park for free or charging fees below the market rate.

Such practices "are tantamount to providing hidden subsidies for vehicle parking", the AGO had said in its annual report, which also highlighted financial lapses at public sector bodies.

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In an e-mail circular sent to staff yesterday, ITE chief executive Low Khah Gek said: "Under the Public Service's clean wage policy, ITE has to ensure that our employees do not receive hidden benefits, such as free or subsidised rates for parking.

"According to Public Service Division guidelines, this means pegging the carpark rates to those charged at the nearest alternative carpark."

An ITE spokesman confirmed the changes to parking rates, which will apply to all staff, students and members of the public who park at its three college campuses.

INEVITABLE

We saw this coming... The polytechnics and the MOE schools have been discussing this carpark issue for a while, so it's just a matter of time. Of course, we prefer not to pay, but we understand the logic. All the while, free parking has been a privilege.

AN ITE COLLEGE EAST LECTURER, who declined to be named.

Nanyang Polytechnic staff and students were also told yesterday that parking rates would be revised from October. Season parking for its staff will also cost $80 and $110 for unsheltered and sheltered carparks respectively. Parking on campus was mostly free previously.

The polytechnic is also introducing hourly parking rates - charged on a per minute basis - for staff, students and members of the public who park on its campus.

The Straits Times understands that the rest of the polytechnics will soon follow suit.

The AGO report released in 2015 pointed out that ITE did not charge users for its carpark, and the estimated amount of parking fees foregone was $66,000 a month.

  • $66k

    Estimated amount of parking fees forgone by ITE by not charging users for its carpark, according to an AGO report released in 2015.

According to the report, Singapore and Temasek polytechnics had undercharged for the use of their carparks as well.

ST understands that the Ministry of Education (MOE) is still in the process of reviewing the carpark policy for schools.

An ITE College East lecturer, who declined to be named, said: "We saw this coming... The polytechnics and the MOE schools have been discussing this carpark issue for a while, so it's just a matter of time."

The lecturer added: "Of course, we prefer not to pay, but we understand the logic. All the while, free parking has been a privilege."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 28, 2017, with the headline 'ITE staff must pay for parking from October'. Print Edition | Subscribe