In the official audit report published by the Singapore’s Auditor General (AGO) today (Jul 17), the auditor uncovered a number of corruptions totalling hundreds of millions across several government ministries in 2017. Despite having found evidence of over-payments, falsified documents, and unapproved spending transactions, no one was arrested.
The most corrupted organisation is the Peoples’ Association (PA), the political arm of the ruling party government. According to the AGO, the PA engaged in cronyism and favouritism in tender awards. S$500,000 worth of contracts for festival lighting were awarded to the same contractor, whose tender bid was not the lowest. The unnamed contractor also made an undisclosed amount on top of the tender value by charging the PA for “additional items”.
PA also allowed its crony contractor to re-submit tender bids after the closing of tender, so their choice of contractor would be selected. Even in the government tender system GeBIZ, the PA posted “no award” to close its invitation to quote when it actually contracted an overseas contractor (believed to be a crony of the ruling party PAP).
13 Grassroots Organisations under the PA, were also found to have made unauthorised and unapproved payments totalling S$619,900. The AGO pointed out in its report they found similar corruptions in their 2014/2015 audit, to which the PA claimed that the payments were unauthorised because of “unexpected requirements at short notice”.
The ruling party arm organisation People’s Association’s grassroots leaders were also found to have corrupted donations to the needy, totalling S$762,400, through duplicating food vouchers, paying to unauthorised persons and not verifying vouchers against claims.
The AGO also found that S$169,000 of groceries purchased for distribution to the needy were not distributed according to the same type and prices stated in the vendor contracts:
“AGO test-checked the purchase of 66 types of groceries at the first GRO and found that it had paid prices higher than the contract rates for nine types of groceries. Another 25 types of groceries purchased were not provided for in the contracts.”
The PA, under the Prime Minister’s Office, responded blankly saying it would “ensure proper procurement procedures” in the future.
Another key corruption was found in the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), where preventive documentations were found to have been falsified by vendors and three SCDF officers. Other government statutory boards involved in corruption were the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Immigration Checkpoint Authority, the Ministry of Education, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Trade and the Prime Minister’s Office.
Sovereign wealth fund company GIC was also audited, but the report is secret and not published for public viewing.