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BCA wins Singapore Quality Award for business excellence

Thursday, 31 October 2013

- Continuing efforts to strengthen its leadership, management and processes in "future-proofing" Singapore's built environment key to BCA's achievement

Singapore, 31 October 2013 - The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has won the Singapore Quality Award (SQA). The award is given to organisations that achieve high performance under SPRING's business excellence framework. The framework assesses firms in terms of their leadership, planning, people, processes, information and customer management.

Besides regulating building safety, BCA leads the built environment sector in delivering a future ready built environment, by taking a holistic and long-term view towards improving the quality, sustainability and user-friendliness of Singapore's built environment.

"The SQA journey has been invaluable in helping us build a resilient BCA DNA in tackling challenges. Guided by the SQA framework, BCA has laid a solid foundation by building a strong culture that strives towards innovation, service and people excellence. To improve the lives of Singaporeans by shaping and "future-proofing" the built environment calls for an effective partnership with our stakeholders. BCA appreciates the contribution of the built environment sector in developing Singapore into what it is today," said Dr John Keung, CEO of BCA.

BCA leverages on technology to improve its work processes and increase productivity for its stakeholders. In 2001, in an era when the internet was still not widely used in the built environment sector, BCA took the lead to work with 15 other regulatory authorities in developing and launching the Construction and Real Estate NETwork (CORENET) electronic submission system.

The implementation of the CORENET electronic submission allows building professionals to submit building-related applications for regulatory approval anywhere and anytime. It enables the built environment sector to substantially save on paper printings, delivery, transaction time and data archiving cost. This innovation is a world first and has also significantly reduced the duration to issue building permits, from 129 days in 2007 to 29 days currently. This led Singapore to be recognised by the World Bank as the fastest in the world to issue building permits from 2010 to 2012.

BCA was also the first in the world to allow electronic submission of 3D Building Information Modelling (BIM) plans for regulatory approval purposes through CORENET. Online portals such as the Information on Construction Quality (iQUAS) and CORENET also facilitate the sharing of industry know-how and best practices .

"BCA adopts a customer-centric approach in engaging our stakeholders. We actively involve and gather feedback from the public and industry when formulating policies and strategies. We also continually benchmark our key strategies and processes against international and local best practices. Our benchmarking studies showed that our building safety regulatory framework is as robust as those in advanced cities," Dr Keung added.

The SQA framework has also spurred BCA to put in place many initiatives to build People Excellence and be an employer of choice. In particular, as a technical authority, BCA has implemented a Core Competency Programme to build up a pool of competent engineers and specialists at various levels of expertise. These include post-graduate courses, professional certifications as well as self-initiated training and attachment programmes in Singapore and overseas.

As BCA evolves to achieve higher standards of organisational excellence, it continuously looks into strengthening its processes and practices. Some initiatives in the pipeline include improving customer service and promoting BCA as a learning organisation. For example, BCA is looking into enhancing the usability of its online services and rolling out more mobile applications for industry professionals and the public, to enable them to receive information on the go and carry out simple work functions.

BCA's achievements have been affirmed by other notable accolades. BCA recently received the prestigious International (I-STAR) Award from the US-based Alliance to Save Energy for its outstanding achievements and commitment to green buildings. It was also conferred the United Nations Public Service Award 2012 for the Contractors Registration System under the "Preventing and Combating Corruption in the Public Service" category./p>

Footnote

About CORENET and iQUAS (431KB .pdf)
Portable document format version of the speech is also available (448KB .pdf).

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