No problem reporting a problem with new app

No problem reporting a problem with new app
(From left) Hillgrove Secondary School student Wang Hao Ming, 15, Ms Grace Fu, Ms Low Yen Ling and ITE West student Mogan Santhan, 17, checking out the new app at its launch in Bukit Gombak yesterday.

SINGAPORE - See leaky pipes or rats in your area and don't know who to call? Now you no longer need to go through the hassle of identifying an appropriate agency for each problem.

Yesterday, the Municipal Services Office (MSO) introduced a new mobile application, called OneService, that enables the public to report issues they encounter via one common platform.

The app, developed together with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, automatically relays each case to the relevant agency, allowing the authorities to take action promptly.

Users of the app can select from seven categories, organised according to the issues such as pests, cleanliness, and roads and footpaths, before proceeding to provide further details.

Other functions include photo attachment and geo-tagging, which enables the agencies to pinpoint the exact location of the problem.

Speaking at the app's launch at a recycling drive in Bukit Gombak, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Grace Fu, who heads the MSO, said the new feedback channel will help public agencies to ascertain the nature of the problem and respond more quickly.

The MSO, which was set up last October, coordinates multiple agencies to better deliver municipal services, particularly where responsibilities are split across agencies.

The office's establishment was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the National Day Rally last year. Mr Lee cited a frustrating experience of South West District mayor Low Yen Ling, who discovered that a fishball stick was left at a walkway in Bukit Gombak for more than a day because separate sections of the walkway were managed by different agencies.

The MSO is working with eight agencies: the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, Housing Board, Land Transport Authority, National Environment Agency, National Parks Board, People's Association, national water agency PUB and the Singapore Police Force.

Ms Fu said: "Our agencies are already providing good municipal services.

"However, there is scope for improvement, particularly in areas where multiple agencies need to be involved, or when the issue is complex in nature."

Prior to its launch, the app underwent a three-month trial last October involving about 1,700 users, including public officers, grassroots leaders and volunteers.

The MSO plans to involve more agencies in the mobile app, which will feature additional functions in future versions.

The app, for iOS and Android users, is free and available for download from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Bukit Batok resident and engineer Chua Qiru, 27, who downloaded the application yesterday, said: "In the past, whenever there are issues such as leaky pipes or dirty public areas, we do not know where to report them to.

"With this app, it is much easier to provide feedback on the issues most Singaporeans may encounter."

This article was first published on January 26, 2015.
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