PARLIAMENT’S public accounts watchdog has expressed concern in a report that despite recent efforts to enhance procurement rules in the public sector, some organisations are still not diligent enough in ensuring compliance.
It sought written explanations from five ministries as well as the National Research Foundation.
The report is by the Public Accounts Committee, whose eight Members of Parliament scrutinise how public funds are spent.
The committee highlighted that 12 of the 35 observations made in the Auditor-General Report for the financial year 2012 to 2013, “pertained to laxity in the area of procurement”.
These include waiving of competition on weak grounds, allowing bid alterations by certain bidders after the tender had closed, and not disclosing the evaluation criteria upfront in tender documents.
Not evaluating tenders properly and getting approvals retrospectively were the others highlighted by the committee.
“The committee was concerned that even with efforts over the last few years to enhance procurement rules and procedures across the public sector, there were indications that some public sector entities were not sufficiently diligent in ensuring compliance with procurement rules,” the report said. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network