Ministry of National Development
Polytechnic | Ministry of National Development

The Passion to Serve

Ministry of National Development
The Municipal Services Office (MSO) was established on 1 October 2014, as a coordinating office under the Ministry of National Development. MSO works with key government agencies to enhance the delivery of municipal services in Singapore, relating to the upkeep and improvement of our communal living environment. This includes managing the cleanliness of public areas, requests pertaining to the maintenance of greenery and infrastructure, and addressing animal-related issues.

In this article, we feature an MSO officer, Shreedhee Kurup from the Partnerships and Coordination division, to get a glimpse into MSO’s work. We also learn about her passion and enthusiasm for her job and the development opportunities MSO has offered her over the years.

The MSO executes a myriad of dynamic functions and roles. How does your job scope create meaningful and fulfilling work for you?

The role of MSO is indeed challenging. MSO works with a network of 27 partners, comprising 11 partner agencies and 16 town councils, to improve the coordination and delivery of municipal services. One of the notable efforts of MSO was the launch of the OneService (OS) App on 1 January 2015. Prior to the launch of the OS App, members of the public were not entirely clear on which agency to send their municipal feedback to. However, with the OS App, they can submit their feedback easily and conveniently without the hassle of having to identify the relevant agencies. The OS App also has geotagging capability, which allows the feedback provider to pinpoint the incident location so that our partner agency can attend to the feedback in a timely manner.

One of my job responsibilities is to supervise a team of MSO personnel in prioritising public feedback. As part of my work, we often receive compliments from our feedback providers on the usefulness of the OS App and how satisfied they were with the way their cases were managed. As an MSO staff, I find it particularly fulfilling and inspiring to know that our OS App and the efforts of our partners have made a positive impact on Singaporeans.

Shreedhee D/O Sajeev D Kurup

Shreedhee D/O Sajeev D Kurup
Executive, Partnerships & Coordination, Municipal Services Office
Diploma in Communication and Information Design
Republic Polytechnic

You work with 11 partner agencies on Digital Channel Migration to monitor the usage of digital channels. What kind of organisational support did you receive in the process?

Since I began working at MSO two years ago, I have had very nurturing bosses who believed in developing their staff to their fullest potential. One of the projects that I was entrusted with was Digital Channel Migration. This initiative was about encouraging the public to use digital platforms such as the OS App and online feedback forms to submit feedback, instead of relying on non-digital platforms such as the phone. Doing so allows for better feedback experience as well as the streamlining of manpower resources. When I first started out on the Digital Channel Migration project, I was a junior executive. Although I was the youngest officer in MSO, I was given the secretariat role in supporting the Inter-Agency Taskforce for Digital Channel Migration, which required me to coordinate with multi-agencies on the project, as well as present the findings to key decision makers.

Given the significance of the project, I have trepidations if I could meet my supervisor’s trust and expectations. I am grateful that my supervisors have been supportive and encouraging. With their guidance and tutelage, I learned more about project management and improved on my presentation skills.

“I find it particularly fulfilling and inspiring to know that our OS App and the efforts of our partners had made a positive impact to their feedback experience.”

For the cases you have worked on, share with us the most common issue faced by the public and the ways MSO meets these needs and demands.

The most common feedback we receive are on issues relating to the maintenance of facilities in HDB estates, such as cleanliness, lighting maintenance in common areas, and carpark maintenance. We work closely with Town Councils as well as relevant agencies such as HDB to ensure that such feedback is attended to in a timely manner. For instance, MSO has conducted regular learning and networking sessions for town councils and agencies. We have also developed useful references and resources to institutionalise knowledge. Doing so brings about greater clarity of the ownership of issues, thereby forging a stronger partnership between town councils and agencies.

In your experience, what are the skills and qualities needed to excel in what MSO does?

I believe that having the right attitude matters. To do well in MSO, one needs enthusiasm, commitment, and social skills. I have always believed in this quote by Winston Churchill, who said that “If you find a job you love, you will never work again.” This is exactly how I feel about working in MSO. I love what I do and therefore, I’m naturally committed to this job. Sometimes I find the going to be tough, but at the end I know that I am doing something good by helping Singaporeans. Some may say that serving the public can be challenging or even daunting. However, I believe that if you seek to be understanding and patient with the people you serve, you will find the job to be meaningful and rewarding.