NAC's rubbish bin centre was part of cultural and heritage redevelopment efforts, Govt explains

The Auditor General’s Office Report recently rapped the National Arts Council (NAC) for spending $410,000 in consultancy fees to construct a $470,000 rubbish bin centre.

NAC which was then under the Ministry of Information, Communications and Arts is now part of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY). MCCY explaining the “exceptionally high” consultancy fee said that when approval was sought to draw down the funds, it did not use the normal method (a percentage of the construction cost), but benchmarked the fee for building the bin centre against other more complex projects, which was why the fee was high.

It further said: “the construction of the bin centre for this project was more complex and required significantly more design expertise, technical consultancy services and effort to coordinate with multiple parties.” The Ministry pledged to adopt the normal method to assess consultancy fees in future development projects.

Netizens had asked MCCY to be more transparent with the public about how complex the construction of NAC’s bin centre really was.

MCCY replied to netizens calls for greater transparency in the Government’s Factually website and said that the rubbish bin centre was “part of redevelopment for the Civic District which is an important cultural and heritage area for Singapore.”

The Ministry went on to explain why the project was complex and complicated, and said that it was not a “simple bin centre to be built” because there were three stakeholders involved in the project – Asian Civilisation Museum, Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall.

It did not however explain why the consultancy fee was almost as much as the cost of constructing the rubbish bin centre. It also did not explain if it had sought different quotations for the job and if any other consultants had quoted a lower price for the project.

The Government’s clarification on the topic is here:

While the Government blustered netizens with its reply on the cost of the rubbish bin, a parody Twitter handle spoofing the rubbish bin centre has been created. The Tweeter ‘Bin Centre NAC’ tagline reads: “The world’s first tweeting Bin Centre. $470,000 only. Totally worth the price tag.” In a few short days since being created, the Twitter account already has 100 followers.

And some of the Tweets from the Twitter handle are totally hilarious.