17 Aug 2012, 5.42PM
The National Environment Agency (NEA) and National Parks Board (NParks) have responded to The Straits Times’ queries on the Auditor-General’s report released on 13 August 2012.
For example, the Auditor-General Office (AGO) had probed five of NEA’s street-cleaning contracts worth $166 million in response to a complaint, and found that street cleaners at 190 out of 225 spots checked did not show up on schedule.
Responding to The Straits Times, NEA said that adequate checks are in place to inspect the outcome of the cleaning. Officers are assigned a specific set of roads to inspect and randomly check 20% of the roads swept each workday. Some 180 ‘defect notices’ have been issued to contractors for lapses.
NEA added that it will take action against contractors who did not perform their scheduled cleaning, and is checking if its officers have performed their checks diligently. To better manage the cleaning of public areas, NEA has set up the Department of Public Cleanliness in April 2012 to take over other agencies’ cleaning functions and has increased its pool of audit officers. It will also tap on GPS sensors to track cleaning work.
On the AGO’s observation that turfed areas under NParks along 618 of 898 roads were not checked between March and October 2011, NParks said that grass at all its sites is cut every two to four weeks and 60 sites are assessed each month. The 618 sites highlighted in the report were checked less often than urban areas, as they have a lower impact on the community.