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Your Say: Timely to update the public on NEA's study of funeral services industry

On June 14, 2020, TODAY had reported that the National Environment Agency (NEA) had put up a tender on the government procurement portal GeBiz on June 2 2020 for a consultancy firm to conduct a comprehensive 12-month study of Singapore’s funeral profession.

NEA had said in June 2020 that it was conducting a comprehensive 12-month study of Singapore’s funeral profession.
NEA had said in June 2020 that it was conducting a comprehensive 12-month study of Singapore’s funeral profession.
Bernard Chen Jiaxi

On June 14, 2020, TODAY had reported that the National Environment Agency (NEA) had put up a tender on the government procurement portal GeBiz on June 2 2020 for a consultancy firm to conduct a comprehensive 12-month study of Singapore’s funeral profession.

The study was welcomed by industry players.

According to NEA’s tender documents, given Singapore's aging population, the annual number of deaths is projected to double from 20,017 in 2016 to 40,000 in 2040.

This would lead to a greater demand for cemeteries, crematoria, columbaria and wake spaces such as funeral parlours, and also industry personnel to support the provision of such services.

According to NEA, the findings from the study would aid in policy formulation to drive industry capability development, so as to ensure that the funeral profession has a ready pool of competent service workers to serve the needs of bereaved families.

By the time that tender closed in early July 2020, GeBiz showed a list of nine firms that had tendered for this study.

The study, according to NEA, will focus on seven main aspects of the funeral profession in Singapore, and this includes an industry overview, the current and projected manpower profile of the industry, manpower demand and supply projections, skills demands and needs, improving processes through innovation and technology, recommended standards and guidelines as well as the benchmarking of international best practices.

It has been more than two years since the tender had closed, and I have not been able to find any further update on the study publicly.

It would be useful if the authorities can update the public on (i) when this study commenced, (ii) the methodology behind the research, (iii) the type of government and non-government data, qualitative and quantitative, that were made available to the consultant and (iv) when the results of the findings can be made available to the public.

With this macro understanding of the funeral profession conducted by a third-party consultant, Singaporeans would then be in a better position to understand the opportunities and challenges that Singapore will face in the next few decades in meeting our funerary and bereavement needs.

Have views on this issue or a news topic you care about? Send your letter to voices [at] mediacorp.com.sg with your full name, address and phone number.

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Funeral Deaths National Environment Agency

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