Public suggestions swell DM’s coffers

DUBAI — Suggestions from members of the public and its staff helped Dubai Municipality save a whopping Dh46 million in less than a year, Mattar Al Tayer, Deputy Director General of Dubai Municipality and Head of the Suggestion Scheme Committee, said yesterday.

By Zaigham Ali Mirza

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Published: Sun 12 Jun 2005, 10:53 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:57 PM

Contributors whose suggestions through the the civic body’s ‘Have Your Say’ campaign were found feasible for implementation and helped the municipality to improve procedures, increase customer satisfaction and gain monetarily, were awarded yesterday at a ceremony. The contributors, both from municipal staff and members of the public, were honoured on the occasion for a total of 18 suggestions.

According to Al Tayer, the civic body has saved and/or earned as much as Dh66 million through the campaign, since it was launched in May 2000. “Suggestions from the civic body’s staff account for most of the Dh46 million earned/saved by the municipality. A group of three municipality employees, including Hamdan Al Shaer, Director of the Environment Department, as the group leader, suggested a new system for waste management, specifically on garbage collection and disposal, as a result of which the civic body gained Dh37 million in a year,” he explained.

Al Tayer said that the suggestion not only improved the city’s waste management, earned money for the municipality, and opened up new opportunities for the private sector, but also contributed greatly to a cleaner, greener Dubai.

Two other major suggestions that led to monetary gains for the civic body came from within its ranks. An engineer in the Roads Department pointed out that the tendering procedure for the outdoor advertisement locations such as bridges and road islands/medians should be turned into an auction so that the municipality gets an optimum price. The suggestion earned the civic body Dh3 million in less than a year, Al Tayer said.

Another engineer in the Roads Department suggested a simple change in the design/construction of traffic signals, from their existing L shape to a T connection, following the implementation of which the municipality saved Dh2million.

Detailing some of the suggestions for which individuals and groups were honoured yesterday, Ahmed Kazim, Head of the Customer Care Section, told Khaleej Times that one suggestion helped simplify the insurance and contracting procedures and also helped the civic body save Dh200,000 since it was implemented.

“Some suggestions while they did not save or make money for the civic body, improved procedures, increased customer satisfaction and benefited the society in one way or another. One involves a a new system under which pet shops are required to fill up a form and provide a list of animals they deal in. This will help in curbing illegal trade in endangered species, and allow the civic body to keep a tab on the pet trade,” he said.

Another suggestion was to have the exhaust pipe of the public transport buses, which terminates at the lower end of the vehicles, extended and refitted towards the top. This done, the exhaust fumes will no more inconvenience motorists, bikers or pedestrians, Kazim explained, adding that all the new buses have this modified exhaust pipe while the rest are also being converted.

Explaining the system on which suggestions are awarded, Kazim said that those resulting in monetary benefits for the civic body are rewarded in cash which is calculated according to a formula. For saving the civic body over half a million, the person or group that suggested the idea is given Dh30,000, he added. For suggestions the effects of which are difficult to quantify or intangible are awarded points. The highest on the scale for one suggestion is 33 points, which earns the provider of the idea Dh1,500.

The ceremony yesterday also saw the awarding of the best suggestion of the year, both for group and individual, the best co-ordinator for the implementation of a suggestion (total 60 co-ordinators in DM), lucky suggestion draw that included all suggestions that were accepted by the municipality.

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