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Parliamentary Replies

Compliance with 72-day Timeline for Publication of Notices of Award for Emergency Procurements

02 Aug 2022

Parliamentary Question by Mr Murali Pillai: 

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance in relation to the Report of the Auditor-General for FY 2021/22 about the price reasonableness of goods and services procured under the Emergency Procurement procedure (a) whether there has been full compliance with the Government Procurement Regulations 2014 that require publication of the notices of award within a 72-day period; (b) if not, what are the reasons for not making such disclosures; and (c) in cases identified to be non-compliant of the Regulations, what remediation steps have or will be undertaken.

Parliamentary Reply by Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister for Finance Mr Lawrence Wong:

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an extraordinary period, where Government agencies and public officers took on new roles and functions in managing the crisis, often in addition to their usual duties. Despite the challenging conditions, which included time urgency to procure certain goods or services and high workload, agencies and public officers strove to maintain high standards of integrity, service and excellence.

Overall, agencies and public officers adhered to the Emergency Procurement guidelines during the crisis response. However, there were some instances where not all the administrative procedures were complied with. In particular, the publication of award notices for a small percentage (less than 5%) of COVID-19 related procurements subjected to the Government Procurement Regulations was not done within the 72-day period. These lapses occurred because the agencies were faced with an unusually large number of procurement awards and were at that time very stretched in terms of their manpower resources due to the additional Covid workload.  

Internal checks were conducted by the agencies to identify these instances of non-compliances, following which agencies took steps to publish the award notices as soon as practicable and check that there were no other wrongdoings.