Irregularities found in Singapore government spending

17 Jul 13
Singapore’s auditor general has highlighted a series of ‘irregularities and weakness’ in the work and spending of government bodies in his annual report.

By Mark Smulian | 17 July 2013

Singapore’s auditor general has highlighted a series of ‘irregularities and weakness’ in the work and spending of government bodies in his annual report.

Tan Yoke Meng Willie said in his report for 2012/13 that his investigations led him to have concerns across a range of issues. These include government departments’ monitoring of contractors’ performance, oversight of external consultants, procurement, and management of computer access arrangements.

Problems in procurement included bids competitions being waived on weak grounds, allowing bid alteration after tenders had closed and not evaluating tenders on a like for like basis, the auditor general said.

For example, the prime minister’s office had wrongly waived competition rules for construction of the Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise, where a vendor was chosen based on a recommendation and without evidence that it alone could provide the required services.

‘Without open and fair competition there is no assurance that the public sector entities are able to secure competitive prices for the goods and services procured,’ he added.

Among other projects criticised was one to improve fitness among soldiers, in which the country’s Ministry of Defence gave approval for 50 fitness facilities but 108 were constructed.

He also found the government’s Housing and Development Board lacked records for some parking enforcement contracts, and that the Ministry of Environment had overpaid on a number of contracts.

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