Municipal Services Office expands to partner six more town councils

The Municipal Services Office (MSO) is ready to expand to partner another six town councils, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Grace Fu, who heads the agency.
The Municipal Services Office (MSO) is ready to expand to partner another six town councils, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Grace Fu, who heads the agency.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The umbrella agency set up to coordinate government responses to municipal problems is expanding to partner another six town councils.

The Municipal Services Office (MSO) currently works with Jurong and Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Town Councils to provide more responsive and effective services in matters like high-rise littering and animal-related problems.

It is now ready to expand to partner another six town councils, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Grace Fu, who heads the MSO.

She told reporters on Monday that the MSO will now open the pilot to the remaining 14 town councils, including the Workers' Party-run Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC).

Six town councils will then be selected in the next few months for MSO's second pilot phase.

Within the coming year, its objective is to have all the town councils on board, said Ms Fu.

Since its pilot began in March, the office has established protocols to make sure that cases do not get lost as they are passed from one of the 11 government agencies it oversees to a town council, and vice versa.

It has also created a manual to clarify the responsibilities of each agency and town council.

Elaborating on how the next six town councils would be chosen, Ms Fu said there was no fixed criteria but town councils are primarily "assessed for readiness", including whether they are "prepared to invest in the human resources needed to run things smoothly at the back-end."

Besides expanding its scope, the office also plans to improve its mobile app to incorporate more accurate data.

Ms Fu said the office has seen results: the resolution time for referral cases involving multiple agencies has fallen from 8 working days to 6.5 working days, a drop of 20 per cent.