Uptake and effectiveness of the No Wrong Door (NWD) policy & the First Responder Protocol (FRP)
Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on the uptake and effectiveness of the No Wrong Door (NWD) policy & the First Responder Protocol (FRP)
Parliamentary Sitting: 5 February 2018
Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang:** To ask the Prime Minister (a) whether the No Wrong Door (NWD) policy introduced in 2004 and the First Responder Protocol (FRP) introduced in 2012 are practised by every Government agency; and (b) how do these two policies ensure public service officers are empowered to fully resolve the public’s issues instead of finding the quickest solution to pass the issue on to another agency.
Written Reply by Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister in charge of the Civil Service.
The Public Service strives to adopt a customer-centric approach in dealing with feedback and requests from members of the public. The No Wrong Door (NWD) policy and the First Responder Protocol (FRP) were introduced as part of many efforts to ensure that feedback from the public are addressed quickly and effectively. Under NWD, the agency that receives feedback on an issue not under its purview should identify the agency responsible and ensure that the agency will take up the case, before putting that agency in touch with the person who provided the feedback. If the issue has no clear owner, the agency that receives the feedback will apply FRP and identify an agency with some domain expertise. This latter agency, also known as the First Responder, will promptly resolve the inter-agency request, while the back-end policy and operational issues are being sorted out.
Public officers at the frontline are trained on these protocols. The Civil Service College conducts regular case simulation workshops for frontline teams, to familiarise officers with the procedures and standards. Many large agencies include these requirements as part of their service training programmes, and have also developed innovations to enhance seamlessness. For example, the CPF Board has an internal virtual assistant to help officers provide accurate answers to members’ CPF queries and identify the right contacts to help them. Agencies are audited on a regular basis on their compliance with the procedures and service standards.
The Municipal Services Office (MSO), established in 2014 to coordinate municipal issues that span across multiple agencies, is an example of how the Public Service has moved from “No Wrong Door” to “Just One Door”. Its OneService app allows members of the public to provide feedback on all municipal issues without having to know which agency is in charge. This is made possible by a backend routing system that allows seamless case referral between agencies based on parameters such as land, issue and asset ownership.
MSO has also worked with partner agencies to establish First Responders in different domains. For example, MSO has brought PUB and the Town Councils together to determine who should serve as the First Responder in different types of water-related issues, so that residents no longer have to face multiple site inspections from both PUB and their Town Council. Other First Responders include LTA for the maintenance of connectivity-related infrastructure like park connectors, footpaths, and footbridges, NParks for public greenery maintenance, AVA for animal-related issues, and NEA for public cleanliness. There are also escalation mechanisms to ensure complex cases or cases with unclear ownership are escalated to the appropriate authorities for prompt action. Collectively, these mechanisms strengthen agencies’ practice of NWD and FRP in the delivery of municipal services.