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Parliamentary Replies

COVID-19 Pandemic-Related Procurement and Expenditure

01 Mar 2023

Parliamentary Question by Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song: 

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance with regard to the Ministry’s review on COVID-19 pandemic-related procurement and expenditure (a) what is the total value of expenditure made (i) without quotation estimates and (ii) with single quotations respectively; and (b) for each of these categories, what is the total amount made to related parties.

Parliamentary Reply by Senior Minister of State fo Finance, Mr Chee Hong Tat:

From Jan 2020 to Jul 2022, agencies adopted Emergency Procurement (EP) procedures to directly contract with suppliers instead of going through open sourcing.  I hope the Member understands why such an arrangement was necessary during the Covid-19 pandemic, for the Government to respond swiftly to the crisis. 

Of the $72.3 billion COVID-19 pandemic-related spending, about 90% was not for procurement of goods and services, but to provide support for families, workers and businesses.  Of the $8 billion of procurement, none were made without a quote, and about $1.1 billion was made with a single quote, for the purchase of testing and swabbing services, as well as food and medical supplies. 

For those procurement contracts that were entered into with single quotes, no procurement was made to related parties, which refers to companies that are directly owned by the Ministries or Statutory Boards.  

Government agencies are expected to ensure proper and impartial evaluation is done and seek the necessary approvals for all procurement, including those done under Emergency Procurement procedures. All procurement transactions are further subjected to independent checks by agencies’ internal audit teams and the Auditor-General’s Office.