Published on 06 November 2023
Ms Carrie Tan asked the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) how many online ComCare Short-to-Medium-Term Assistance (SMTA) applications have been made since its implementation; (b) how much funds have been expensed on developing the IT infrastructure to enable such online applications; (c) whether a review will be conducted to evaluate this implementation; and (d) what actual costs and benefits are incurred and reaped thus far for the applicants and administrators.
Since the introduction of online applications for ComCare Short-to-Medium-Term Assistance (SMTA) via SupportGoWhere, about 13% of applications have been made online. MSF expects the proportion of applications made online to increase over time.
2 There are several benefits to using the SMTA online application. Apart from being available 24/7, the portal taps on MyInfo to auto-populate relevant personal information, thereby reducing manual data entry. Applicants can submit relevant supporting documents directly through the portal, and also track the status of their application and how much assistance they have received, without having to separately contact the SSO. The system also reduces the need for further manual entry by SSO officers. Furthermore, aside from ComCare applications, the SupportGoWhere portal also enables clients to find information on other social assistance schemes offered by different agencies and check their eligibility for such schemes on a single portal , increasing clients’ access to more comprehensive and convenient support.
3 The cost of developing the portal for SMTA online applications was about $1.5 million. We estimate that each client can save about 50 minutes through submitting an online application instead of a physical application at the SSO, and each SSO officer can save about 45 minutes in processing an online application instead of a physical application. Since the launch of the portal, we estimate that more than 10,000 and 9,000 manhours have been saved by clients and SSO officers respectively.