HDB wins international award for public sector innovation in service

An HDB estate in Punggol. -- ST PHOTO FILE
An HDB estate in Punggol. -- ST PHOTO FILE

SINGAPORE - The Housing and Development Board (HDB) has beat eight government agencies from other countries to win an award for service innovation in the international FutureGov Awards 2014, said the board in a statement on Monday morning.

HDB won the award for the improved customer experience at its Punggol Branch, from its layout and design to its personalised service and use of technology.

The awards, which have 28 categories, are organised by the FutureGov Asia Pacific Magazine, an independent trade journal focused on public sector modernisation. This year's winners were announced at the FutureGov Summit held in Kuala Lumpur from Oct 8 till 10.

Features of the Punggol Branch, which was set up in 2012, include "hint cards" on the wall which provide bite-sized information and tips regarding common questions about HDB matters, electronic noticeboards, and a kid's corner where children can watch cartoons or draw while their parents are being served.

There are also service ambassadors who help residents with queries and guide them in using e-kiosks for online transactions. These kiosks also allow residents to make transactions outside the usual branch operating hours.

Such new ideas and service concepts piloted at the Punggol Branch have been well-received by residents, and some of these - such as service ambassadors and electronic noticeboards - have been brought to HDB branches across the island, said the HDB.

"HDB will continue to review how more features can be implemented or adapted in other branches, so that more HDB residents can benefit from them."