Parliament Sitting on 6 February 2017
QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
*35. Er Dr Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) how often are postal letters delivered to the wrong address; (b) what action is being taken to improve the service; (c) what are the common reasons for the wrong delivery; and (d) whether any fine-tuning on the sorting process of letters and training of postmen are required.
Mdm Speaker, postal delivery in Singapore is regulated by the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA). Under IMDA’s Postal Quality of Service (QoS) framework, SingPost needs to deliver 99% of local basic letters destined for the Central Business District (CBD) by the next working day, and 98% of local basic letters destined for non-CBD areas. SingPost is also required to achieve 100% delivery by the second working day. These are one of the most stringent standards for local basic mail in the world.
2 SingPost delivers more than three million items a day. In 2016, SingPost received about 50 incidents of feedback concerning mis-delivered local basic letters. This is a significant improvement from 279 incidents of feedback concerning mis-delivered local basic letters in 2013 and 155 in 2015. Letters are mis-delivered for several reasons – the postman could have delivered the letter to the wrong letter box; or the address could have been incomplete or incorrectly written.
3 While the number of mis-deliveries is very small, IMDA takes a serious view of all cases as they inconvenience businesses and individuals. IMDA works closely with SingPost to reduce mis-delivery rates, and improve their quality of service. In that regard, SingPost has taken active steps in the last few years to improve its service quality:
- In 2014, SingPost invested $45 million on sorting machines to improve mail sorting efficiency and accuracy.
- SingPost has enhanced its staff training programme, which includes the postmen code of conduct, on-the-job training and customer service training. Since 2014, SingPost has hired quality control officers to further ensure that letters are correctly delivered.
- Finally, as part of its ongoing efforts to engage senders of letters, SingPost provides a 24/7 customer care hotline and has service ambassadors stationed at post offices. SingPost also regularly updates its website with mailing guidelines and tips on addressing letters.
4 The drop in number of complaints over the last three years show that these efforts have been helpful. Nevertheless, IMDA will continue to monitor SingPost’s performance, and review the Postal QoS framework, to ensure that SingPost continues to provide reliable and quality postal services for Singapore.