NCSS helps welfare organisations save close to $500,000

SINGAPORE - Members of the National Council of Social Services (NCSS) have reported cost savings of more than $487,000 from using NCSS Common Services in the first half of the council's financial year (FY) 2013, NCSS said in a statement on Thursday.

NCSS - the umbrella body for about 400 voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) in Singapore - said that the figure is "on track" to exceed the total cost savings of $815,000 in FY2012 and $650,000 in FY2011.

Currently, 25 service providers offer preferential rates or pro-bono help to VWOs through the Common Services platform. The services offered cover audit, governance consultancy, human resource, information technology, insurance, medical and health care, publishing and legal.

NCSS said that the three services with the highest cost savings are financial audit services, information technology hardware purchases, and governance and internal audit services.

Mr Goh Boo Han, executive director of Lions Befrienders Service Association (Singapore), said: "We engaged a participating firm to audit our annual financial statements...(and) managed to save cost as their audit fees were more affordable than that of our previous auditor." The association runs a nationwide befriending programme for vulnerable seniors and six activity centres for seniors.

NCSS said that the Common Services platform, started in 2006, also helps its members achieve better organisational efficiency, and has said that it is seeking more vendors to join the scheme.