Report of the Public Accounts Committee: Wassup with MIB?

13 Apr

Kudos to the govt for releasing the report, you can find it at the link below. However, it’s pointless if the govt releases it and no one scrutinises it.

If you read the report, it wouldn’t be hard to notice that MIB (men in blue or policemen) were singled out for glaring mistakes on various counts. Coming from a force that enforces the law of the land, it is quite a disappointment. One would naturally wonder if they lack the discipline to comply with the rules and regulations of the procurement process or there aren’t enough MIB officers with the adequate comprehension skills to comply? The lapses were serious enough that the Permanent Secretary of Home Affairs had to give oral evidence the Committee when he was only quite recently appointed in Nov 2011. [Kena “tua” sia…LOLz]

The following are the irregularities found with regards to MIB:

– Not maintaining proper access rights and activity logs of system for recording revenue collection, related traffic offences and drivers’ records.

– Administration fees of $7.23mil which should have been charged to a retirement fund for uniformed staff was charge to the govt

– Police Coast Guard was overcharged for construction work done and work delivered was sub-standard. Some materials were not even delivered and inadequate payment control.

– Possible false documents were submitted by the PCG contractor and this has been referred to the CAD and AGC.

courtesy of

In the previous edition of this report, Traffic Police was found to be negligent in the management of a contract for the maintenance of surveillance camera systems resulting in payment to the contractor for a number of years when there was no work done. The contractor was jailed for 18 months subsequently.

In the report, MHA informed the Committee of two key difficulties that SPF faced in procurement and project management, namely:

(i) Officers having responsibilities for procurement projects, especially if it is for the first time, may lack familiarity with financial controls and contract management. There is added difficulty if an officer is rotated out during the course of the project and another officer takes over  the responsibility.

(ii) The  officers may also lack the capabilities and technical knowledge necessary to oversee the work of contractors and consultants engaged for the project. 

The above in layman terms is, you don’t know or not sure, you better ask. Scholar or high flier cannot seek help meh? If you think you have many officers new to the their jobs, must train them, mentor them and maintain some form of oversight. And don’t happy happy keep changing the postings to fulfill some misguided management theory, weird KPIs and get them to go through postings so that they can be promoted faster. Wonder what has been the top brass of MIB doing for the past years? Or are they facing a brain drain where their top people have been more than eager to get out of police?

Recently, it was also in the news that the Police Coast Guard Commander retired before the official retirment age. Does it have to do with this report? Quite naturally, no clues were found…just as former Minister Raymond Lim was “phased out discreetly” (in the words of PM Lee).

Thu, Mar 29, 2012AsiaOne

Singapore’s Police Coast Guard (PCG) will get a new commander starting April 1.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (AC) Hsu Sin Yun, 43, will take over the reins from Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police (SAC) Teo Kian Teck, 51, who will be retiring from service.

SAC Teo has been the PCG commander since March 2008. During his tenure, SAC Teo led the PCG in various key events – including operations that smashed seven human smuggling syndicates resulting in the arrests of 15 syndicate leaders and key members, and managing the law-and-order situation at the seas off Pedra Branca during the International Court of Justice rulings.

Speaking on his 25 years of his service with the Singapore Police Force (SPF), SAC Teo said, “It has been my privilege to work in an extraordinary organisation which provides uniquely enriching experiences.  I will  always cherish the fond memories and experiences working with the men and women of the SPF as they have helped to mould and develop me to who I am today.”

Granted, other ministries were just as bad. For example, our “favourite” LTA awarded a contract for a road camera system to the sole tenderer when the offer did not meet a number of technical requirements specified in the tender. And the report did not even state the dollar amount of this contract. Another agency (Maritime Port Authority) under the Ministry of Transport, helmed by one of our “favourite” minister, did not change their agent for “sale of water to vessels using water-boats” since 1996 and has not called for a competitve tender since then. This agent must be sibeh huat/rich now. MICA awarded almost $3mil worth of tenders when they did not even meet the critical evaluation criteria.

To be fair to the zheng hu, which employs more than 120,000 people and purchases billions upon billions of equipment and services every year, the Auditor-General (ony) made 22 observations. Govt should strive to do better and Auditor-General should have the moral courage and integrity to point out mistakes for the benefit of Singaporeans. Govt should continue to make such reports for public consumption and if reveal as much details as possible.

Lastly, it should be noted that the Public Accounts Committee which consists of 8 MPs convened 3 meetings from Nov 2011 to Mar 2012. One of the MPs, Christopher De Souza, was absent for 2 of these 3 meetings.

2 Responses to “Report of the Public Accounts Committee: Wassup with MIB?”

  1. sgp April 13, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    also, any updates on the CNB/SCDF chief cases?? how ah??


  1. Daily SG: 13 Apr 2012 « The Singapore Daily - April 13, 2012

    […] · Service · Excellence – Unbranded Bread n Butter: Report of the Public Accounts Committee: Wassup with MIB? – Big Talk Singapore (大话新加坡): Singapore Government Agencies missing […]

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