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Parliamentary Replies

Government Agencies Engaging Accredited Cleaning and Security Contractors

09 Jul 2012

Date: 9 July 2012

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance: 

(a) to date, how many Government agencies have switched to using accredited cleaning and security contractors; (b) how do these agencies ensure that the productivity of the workers employed under these contracts can be increased so that their wages can be raised; and (c) whether the Government will consider stipulating a higher salary range for these workers in tender documents to force the pace of wage restructuring while practising best sourcing.

Reply by DPM and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam:

1. As cleaning companies only began to be accredited under the Clean Mark scheme administered by the National Environment Agency in September 2010, not all government agencies have had the opportunity to incorporate the accreditation criteria into their cleaning contracts. Many contracts had already been awarded before the first cleaning companies were accredited. Hence, as of now, about half of government agencies have awarded cleaning contracts to cleaning companies accredited under the existing Clean Mark scheme.

2. For government security contracts, over 80% of government agencies have awarded their contracts to security agencies graded A and B by the Police Licensing & Regulatory Department.

3. By early next year, all new government cleaning and security contracts called would be awarded to accredited cleaning companies or well-graded security agencies. This also applies to contracts that come up for renewal.

4. The Government does not stipulate the wages payable to employees of its contractors in tender documents. However, we are moving towards accreditation of companies eligible for Government contracts for cleaning and security.

5. The Ministry of Manpower and NTUC have been working closely together with stakeholders including NEA and MHA on the enhanced cleaning accreditation and security grading schemes. The details of these enhancements, and how they will help increase standards, skills and wages, will be finalised and announced later.