Singapore

SMRT staff in one department own up to lapses


Staff from at least one department in SMRT have admitted to lapses in their work, in response to a company call to own up - without penalty - before a wide-scale audit is launched.

The Straits Times understands that the employees are from SMRT's building and facilities department, which oversees areas such as MRT tunnel ventilation, and flood and fire protection measures at train stations.

The "amnesty" exercise, which was made known to staff via e-mail a few days ago and had ended yesterday, is targeted at quickly plugging gaps in maintenance operations - one of which caused the flooding of an MRT tunnel last month, bringing down train services on a stretch of the North-South Line for about 20 hours.

The offer was made to quickly establish the extent of improper practices and to allow staff to "volunteer information in open reporting as a mitigation against further disciplinary action", SMRT's group chief executive Desmond Kuek said in a statement on Thursday evening.

The measure followed revelations that SMRT staff responsible for maintaining the pumps of a storm water pit at Bishan station had signed off on work that was not done.

It is suspected that the falsification of the quarterly maintenance records went as far back as December last year.

The manager and staff responsible have been suspended and are assisting in investigations.

SMRT also replaced its vice-president of maintenance a week after the flooding.


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