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15 February 2007 Parliamentary Replies

Oral Reply to Parliamentary Question on “No Wrong Door” policy

Parliamentary Sitting Date: 15 February 2007

Ms Lee Bee Wah: To ask the Prime Minister and Minister for Finance (a) since the introduction of the “No Wrong Door” policy in 2004, whether there has been any feedback on how this scheme has worked out; and (b) will his Ministry look at ways to give more publicity to this scheme as it may not be widely known by the public.

Oral Reply (for the Prime Minister) by Mr Teo Chee Hean, Minister in charge of the Civil Service and Minister for Defence:

The Public Service is a large organisation with many agencies and departments, each with different responsibilities. In 2004, the Public Service introduced the ‘No Wrong Door’ policy so that members of the public do not get referred from one agency to another when they have an issue for the government to resolve. 

Under this policy, when a public agency receives a query or feedback on an issue that does not fall under its purview, it should identify the agency responsible for the issue and put it in touch with the person who submitted the query or feedback. If the issue involves multiple agencies, the agency who receives the query is to co-ordinate and put up an integrated response.  Hence, the name 'No Wrong Door'. 

The key to the implementation of the policy lies in public officers being helpful and being able to make the connection and do the necessary coordination behind the scene.  When the policy works smoothly, the member of the public need not even know that such a policy exists.

For this reason, the Public Service has focused its efforts on emphasising the importance of the policy to public officers through induction and training programmes, and urging public agencies to put in place processes to implement the policy smoothly.   

We observed that most public agencies have actively implemented the 'No Wrong Door' policy although we still get the one or two lapses at times.  While we have not officially solicited feedback from the public on this policy, we are aware that some public officers have been commended by the public for helping to put them in touch with the relevant agencies to solve their problems.  We will continue to remind all public agencies and officers to practise the policy consistently. 

Of course, for some complex issues, it is sometimes not clear where the issue falls under, and the ‘No Wrong Door’ policy may not work well.   But overall, the policy has brought convenience to members of the public.