Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Sim Ann has warned of more clamping down on SingPost by the authorities, on the back of their recent S$100,000 fine against them for service lapses in 2017.
Speaking in Parliament on Monday, Sim said the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) is currently reviewing SingPost's performance in letter delivery for the year 2018.
She said it is also considering the implementation of regulatory standards for delivery of parcels and registered articles, because at the moment these only exist for normal mail.
Likely more incidents of "failed delivery notices" than officially reported
Responding to questions from Nee Soon GRC Member of Parliament Lee Bee Wah, Sim noted also her suspicion that there were more cases where SingPost mailmen were leaving "failed delivery" notices for parcels outside a recipient's door when the recipient was home at the time.
On IMDA's side, Sim said they received seven complaints about these incidents in 2017, and eight last year. SingPost, on the other hand, "is unable to provide the specific number of complaints it receives on failed delivery notices".
"Nonetheless, we believe that there are likely to be more incidents which were not formally reported."
She added that IMDA will "pay attention" to this area.
Thorough review of operations & manpower needed
Sim identified two key areas where reviews are needed on SingPost's part, that IMDA will assist with:
1) The rise of e-commerce
The fact that more people are shopping online means that the number of parcels needing to be delivered separately (i.e. can't fit in the mailbox) has been on the rise, Sim noted.
At the moment, SingPost's postmen have to make between 35 and 45 doorstep parcel deliveries each day, apart from their respective regular mail loads — a total of about 38,000 parcels daily, she said, and this means SingPost has to "make itself ready for this new operating environment".
2) The welfare of mail staff
The labour-intensive nature of the postman's work also allows room for technological advancement, and Sim says IMDA will be providing support to SingPost in the form of postman training, re-engineering the delivery process, and setting up new systems and infrastructure upgrades to optimise the delivery process.
These, Sim says, will help mailmen be well-equipped to perform their tasks efficiently, and also ensure they are fairly treated.
Fined for service lapses
SingPost has been under fire in recent weeks after a series of high-profile service lapses were publicised on social media.
One such case saw a postman arrested after allegedly dumping undelivered mail addressed to residents in Ang Mo Kio into the trash.
A member of the public later discovered the letters and shared photos of them online.
In another instance, a man caught SingPost's investigation team red-handed trying to trick him into believing a flyer printing and delivery job had been done properly:
Top image adapted from SingPost and IMDA's Facebook page.