subpage banner

Parliamentary Replies

Reviewing Controls and Checks in Relation to COVID-19 Pandemic-Related Procurement and Expenditure

13 Sep 2022

Parliamentary Question by Ms Foo Mee Har:

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance whether the Government will consider commissioning a special review to comprehensively review controls and checks in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic-related procurement and expenditure.

Parliamentary Reply by Second Minister for Finance, Ms Indranee Rajah:

Mr Speaker, MOF has started its review of the controls and checks in relation to COVID-19 pandemic-related procurement and expenditure since earlier this year. Respective agencies are conducting their audits on COVID-19 pandemic-related procurement and expenditure to ensure transactions are bona fide and that there is no erroneous payment. This is on top of the Auditor-General’s thematic audit of the COVID-19 related procurement and expenditure. The AGO’s findings on HPB, MOM and SLA were published in its report for FY2021/2022.

Drawing lessons from our COVID-19 experience and from the Auditor-General’s report, MOF is reviewing our guidelines on procurement, contract management and payment, to ensure our control measures are appropriate for future emergencies. MOF will also be issuing an advisory to agencies to strengthen the adoption of good practices and minimise financial risks during emergencies.


Supplementary Question Reply by Second Minister for Finance, Ms Indranee Rajah:

Total COVID-19 expenditure for FY2020 and FY2021

The Government’s total COVID-19 budget expenditure in FY2020 and 2021 was $72.3b. Of this, $13.4b was for our public health measures, $50.6b was to protect jobs through support for workers and businesses, and $8.3b was for direct household and social support. With these resources, we were able to save lives and livelihoods.

2. The total amount ($72.3b) was lower than the $100b committed over the Budgets and Supplementary Budgets in FY2020 and 2021 due to two main reasons. 

a. First, the Government had set aside loan capital in FY2020 in anticipation of a tight credit market given global conditions. Eventually, the loan capital did not need to be deployed, as MAS’s provision of low-interest capital, to participating financial institutions for ESG loans through its SGD facility, was sufficient. 

b. Second, public health spending was not as large as budgeted for because we managed to bring the COVID-19 situation effectively under control, with the support and cooperation from Singaporeans. We had set aside resources for public health capacity to cater for downside scenarios but did not have to fully utilise these resources. The safe management measures and cooperation of Singaporeans contributed towards avoiding the worst-case public health outcomes. 

3. These under-utilisations were offset by additional funding for the support packages rolled out to support Singaporeans and businesses during the heightened alerts and Stabilisation Phases from May to November 2021.

4. Members can refer to MOF’s occasional paper titled “Assessment of the Impact of Key COVID-19 Budget Measures”, which was published in February this year. An interim assessment was also published in February 2021.

5. Table 1 provides a more detailed breakdown of the $72.3b total COVID-19 expenditure in FY2020 and FY2021.

Table 1: Breakdown of Total COVID-19 expenditure in FY2020 and FY2021


Actual FY20 and FY21


Public Health and Safe Reopening


Testing, clinical management and tracing


Vaccines and therapeutics


Isolation facilities, border management and safe distancing


Others (public hygiene, supplies resilience)


Support for Workers and Businesses


Wage Support (Jobs Support Scheme and Enhanced Wage Credit Scheme)


Foreign Worker Levy Waiver and Rebate


Upskill, Transform, Create Jobs, Emerge Stronger


Financing Schemes


Rental Rebate and Property Tax Rebate


Deferment of Income Tax Payments for Companies and Self-employed


Sector-Specific Support (e.g., Aviation, Maritime, Land Transport, Hawkers, Construction)


Direct Social and Household Support and Others


Payouts to households (Care and Support Package, Solidarity Payment, etc.)


Self-employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS)


Temporary Relief Fund, Covid-19 Support/Recovery Grant


Others (e.g., frontline worker bonus, digital inclusion, grants to CDC)