Some online services for CPF website still down after 2 weeks; queues form at Bishan service centre

The CPF building at Robinson Road.
The CPF building at Robinson Road.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
A screenshot of the CPF website.
A screenshot of the CPF website.PHOTO: CPF
A screenshot of the CPF website.
A screenshot of the CPF website.PHOTO: CPF

Some online services for the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board website were still down on Monday (Dec 14), more than two weeks after a website upgrade caused a major service outage.

The CPF Board said on Monday night that together with its vendor Microsoft, it had identified the cause to be an "integration component" used by the website which malfunctioned because of high traffic and caused the wrong information to be displayed.

The system has been taken offline as a safeguard and the board is currently working together with Microsoft to progressively restore all online services.

"Much as we would like to bring the e-services online as quickly as possible, we cannot afford to compromise the stability and reliability of the e-services," said CPF Board chief executive officer Mr Ng Chee Peng.

 

As of 10pm on Monday, the only services available on the site were the checking and printing out of statements and transaction history.

As a result of the disruption to the online services, crowds formed at the CPF service centre in Bishan earlier on Monday afternoon, with long queues of people waiting their turn.

Terminals that normally provided access to online services were switched off.

While an electronic board displayed a waiting time of two hours, some told The Straits Times they had been informed by CPF staff the wait could be as long as three hours.

Some customers could be seen leaving in frustration.

Airport screening officer Mr Stanley Ruben Joseph had gone to the service centre to check his statement after being unable to do so on his smartphone.

"I saw the crowd and walked out," said the 58-year-old.

Madam Jessie Lee had tried several times to withdraw money from her Medisave account through the website, but was unable to do so.

The 61-year-old executive said she had been unable to make an appointment online as the service was unavailable, and was unable to get through to the CPF call centre to make an appointment.

"They should try to resolve the problem soon so we don't have to deal with these crowds," she said.

Madam Lee said she had to wait in line for an hour, but the staff were helpful and guided her to where she needed to go.

CPF also said members can be assured that they will not be levied any late charges due to the current unavailability of the CPF e-services.

Eligible members who make voluntary contributions and top-ups will qualify for the applicable tax relief as long as the Board receives their applications through relevant alternative channels such as mail, CPF service centres, Self-Automated Machines (SAM) and SingPost branches by Dec 31.

Last year, 54 million transactions were carried out on the CPF website, which had won a Singapore Government Web Excellence Award in 2010 for user-friendliness.