Khaw Boon Wan defends initial response to Brompton purchase: No reason to suspect integrity of NPark officer
Posted by temasektimes on August 1, 2012
Beleaguered National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan is now busy redeeming himself in the eyes of the public over his initial nonchalant response to the controversial purchase of the expensive Brompton bicycles by the National Parks Board (NParks) which first erupted on the internet.
Despite many valid concerns raised by netizens over the purchase including the tender being called during the Chinese New Year festive season and its exorbitant price, Mr Khaw defended the purchasing officer’s ‘integrity’ initially.
Speaking to queries from the state media, Mr Khaw explained that though he felt the decision to buy the foldable bikes was ‘justified’, he was not satisfied with the deal:
“I wrote then, that the decision to buy foldable bikes was justified. However, to signal my dissatisfaction and to convey a public message (not just to NParks but to all MND officers) that we should always seek value for money and ensure contestability when procuring goods or services, I added that I thought the procurement could have been better handled and NParks could have gotten a better deal,” he said.
However he was quick to add that “at that time”, he had “no reason to question the integrity of the officer(s) involved”.
It is not known how much his ‘no reason to question’ cost Singapore taxpayers.
The matter was finally referred to the Corrupt Practice Investigation Bureau (CPIB) for investigations and the officer in question was suspended after it was exposed online that he is a good friend of the owners of the company supplying the bikes