In its audit report for Financial Year 2015/2016 which was published on 26 July, the Auditor-General Office (AGO) found that there had been inadequate monitoring of car park operations and enforcement by the Housing Development Board (HDB), a statutory board under the Ministry of National Development (MND)
Lapses at industrial carparks
AGO’s test checks on the records of five car parks at industrial estates revealed 113,103 instances for the period April 2014 to August 2015 where vehicles were not charged parking fees.
AGO found from the Electronic-Parking System (EPS) data that the vehicles had either an entry or exit record but not both, indicating incomplete records in EPS. As a result of that, the EPS was unable to charge parking fees estimated at $159,000.
There was no evidence that HDB had followed up on the significant number of incomplete records to assess whether there were control weaknesses in the management of the car parks or non-performance by the operators, resulting in revenue loss.
As the large number of incomplete records could indicate systemic weaknesses in controls, AGO followed up by checking the camera footages over four days at two car parks with significant instances of incomplete records.
Based on 50 contracts with EPS car park operators with contract periods ranging from the financial years 2010 to 2025. AGO found 243 instances where the motorists had, on multiple occasions, manipulated the EPS to allow another vehicle to exit the car parks without paying fees, for example through tailgating.
Lapses at residential carparks
AGO’s test checks on car parks at residential estates revealed 2,501 instances for the period April 2015 to September 2015 where vehicles had exited the EPS car parks without making payments on more than three occasions in a month. AGO found that despite receiving the monthly reports from operators on such repeated instances of non-payment, HDB did not take any action against these motorists.
AGO noted in its findings that HDB could have detected these instances if it had examined the data from the Electronic Parking System (EPS) and the monthly reports from the operators of the car parks. Consequently, there was revenue loss and no action was taken against those who took deliberate actions to avoid paying the charges.
HDB had outsourced the operation of its 24 EPS car parks at industrial estates and 952 EPS car parks at residential estates to commercial operators at an average total cost of $78.39 million per annum.
HDB informed AGO that it had since taken action to carry out thorough analyses of reports from car park operators and to amend the Parking Places Rules (Cap. 214, R2) to enable HDB to take action against motorists who evade parking fees.
HDB had also since made police reports against these motorists who had deliberately manipulated the EPS to evade parking fees in industrial estates.