Co-ops given more flexibility in operations; shared services could be explored

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Apr 03, 2024, 09:15 PM


Apr 03, 2024, 09:15 PM

SINGAPORE - The Government is open to studying the possibility of centralising some services for co-operatives, to better support them as they seek to remain relevant and serve their members better, said Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth Alvin Tan on April 3.

He was responding to comments made by Members of Parliament during a debate on proposed amendments to the Co-operative Societies Act, which were later passed.

Nominated MP Mark Lee had suggested the concept of sharing services to address the concerns of co-ops, which include cybersecurity threats. He said that this could be done through a pool of technology providers or audit firms, so that co-ops can better manage their costs.

Mr Tan said his ministry is open to exploring with industry body Singapore National Co-operative Federation (SNCF) and the sector players where centralised services can be appropriate and where co-ops find it useful.

Mr Yip Hon Weng (Yio Chu Kang) also raised the issue of helping smaller co-ops to digitalise.

Mr Tan said that the general approach has been to support co-ops through the CCF (Central Co-operative Fund) development grant, which gives co-ops flexibility to engage suitable service providers.

The minister added that over the past five years, the CCF has disbursed $2.7 million worth of grants to co-ops, including for development and training as well as to address emerging risks and needs. MCCY has also supported conferences and events organised by the federation to raise awareness of topics such as data protection and cybersecurity.

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