Municipal Services Office to open Oct 1, says Grace Fu

The different government agencies that will be linked to the new Municipal Services Office (MSO). -- PHOTO: MCI
The different government agencies that will be linked to the new Municipal Services Office (MSO). -- PHOTO: MCI

The new Municipal Services Office (MSO) announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the National Day Rally, will open on Oct 1 and aims to make things easier and reduce anxiety for the public, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Grace Fu on Sunday.

But it will not be an "omnibus organisation", she stressed. "If the public already knows that certain areas are done by certain agencies, they have the expertise, there is no reason why we should create a bureaucracy to pull these services into a central unit."

Speaking to reporters before she flagged off the One Community Walk at Yuhua Constituency, Ms Fu added that the MSO aims to make public service more citizen-centric. She will also spend the next six months studying the entire feedback mechanism loop - including the duration of time it takes to get back to the public - to boost efficiency.

She said: "Whatever we do right now we have to make sure it's most convenient for members of public and that it doesn't create another layer, it doesn't delay the process."

The Ministry of National Development (MND), under which the MSO will be part of, said in a statement on Sunday that the office will be set up on October 1, and will "improve the Government's overall coordination and delivery of municipal services".

It will first involve eight public agencies - the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, national water agency PUB, NParks, Housing Board, the Land Transport Authority, the Police, People's Association and the National Environment Agency.

Asked why the MSO is not working with town councils even though they deal with a lot of municipal issues, Ms Fu said it is an area still under consideration. "But we need town councils to cooperate, obviously, so I think this is something (that) take some time."

waltsim@sph.com.sg