Err PM, whatever happened to monitoring?

In Uncategorized on 04/05/2011 at 10:51 am

The PM blamed the housing shortages and transport congestion on forecasts going wrong.

When I was working, all the places I worked in had comprehensive mgt systems monitoring variables. One aim of having such systems was to check that budget assumptions were grounded in facts.

For example if the assumption was for stock mkt volumes to be X on an annualised basis, but the numbers for Jan to March were pointing out that on an annualised basis the volume would only be X-12, the firm would know that revenues would be going down. Mgt would have to make a decision whether to stick to the volume assumption (volumes were going to pick up) or cut costs. That decision was a mgt call.

Now if would seem based on what PM was saying that in housing, transport and immigration there was no monitoring and feedback mechanism so that adjustments could be made to assumptions.  Or if there were, the variances from the predictions were missed or ignored.

Ministers and senior civil servants did not know that the assumptions of the forecasts were wrong. Facts had changed but  they were not aware of the changes.

The system was on auto=pilot. For this ministers and senior civil servants have to accept responsibility.

Based on what the cabinet and senior civil servants are paid, I think we deserve better. In a listco with gd governance standards, heads would have rolled to appease shareholders.

Sorry not enough.

  1. Ministers and senior civil servants did not know that the assumptions of the forecasts were wrong. Facts had changed but they were not aware of the changes.
    Just for the sake of argument…

    What if they knew exactly what was going on?

    But they did not act because all the other components will work in union to raise GDP – their main (and only?) KPI!

    Keep supply of housing constant, higher demand will drive up prices and also result in more tax revenue for them…

    Keep the transportation system as status quo would lead to an “improvement” in efficiency (load carried/train) and also higher profits for the state-linked transport companies and of course, tax revenue…

    And having more immigrants would also raise spending and in turn increase GDP and tax revenue…

    Win, win, win for them…reinforces the notion that they are increasingly running our country as Singapore Inc

    Food for thought?

    • “…they are increasingly running our country as Singapore Inc.”

      Things have turned out exactly the way they wanted. They just need a little more time and your votes to completely transform this into Sg Inc. where they can then peg their pay at double than the highest paid to any CEO, bankers, lawyers…etc.

      The plain and simple truth is that the Corporatists have taken over.

  2. This has got nothing to do with how the economy is doing. It got everything to do with ramping up the population to 6.5 million. The population was boosted from 3 million in 1990 to 4 million in 2000, and further to 5 million in 2010. All these while, public housing, and the capacities of the MRT network, bus, roads and hospitals are not increased correspondingly. In particular, until the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital was built, there was no increase in hospital beds for donkey years.

    It is clearly a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. Increase population by quantum leaps, but increase the infrastructure and services by business-as-usual increments.

  3. The trouble is that PAP treats these variables (e.g. housing requirements, hospital requirements, transport etc.) as if they were predicting the Weather. They even admit they were caught unaware. How can they give such a ridiculous excuse. Housing and other social infrastructure is directly related to the population. As well, PAP treats the number of foreigners here also as if it is predicting the weather, and speaks nonchalantly that the number of foreigners will be less in such and such a time frame. Truth is, ALL these variables are entirely predicatable and are totally at the disposal of the PAP machinery, which is not like forecasting the weather.


  4. For the PM to say that they have miscalculated MUST be the biggest joke of the century! A primary school kid would be able to tell you that for the huge increase in population – there must increases in the basic infrastructures for housing, transportation, etc. They can’t even see something so basic – what is all these b******t about having the best team! And the worst thing was that there were feedbacks, grouses, complaints from the ground but they CHOSE TO IGNORE! There is absolutely no excuse. Since they are so incapable, they should gracefully relinquish their positions and let some others do the job!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: