AIM not bidding for PAP town councils' tender
Dr Teo Ho Pin
SINGAPORE: Action Information Management (AIM), which runs the People's Action Party (PAP) town councils' computer systems, will no longer operate the systems when its contract expires on April 30. It said on Wednesday that it will not participate in the latest tender exercise.
The arrangement between AIM, a company fully owned by the PAP, and the PAP town councils had caused controversy even though both parties had explained that the process by which the open tender was awarded to AIM was above board.
AIM Chairman S Chandra Das said: "Given that AIM had helped prepare the tender documents, it decided not to participate in the tender."
When contacted, Dr Teo Ho Pin, who is the Coordinating Chairman of the PAP town councils, confirmed the news: "AIM should not bid for this tender as they are involved in the tender specification preparation."
Dr Teo declined to reveal how many parties had collected the tender documents "as tendering is in progress".
In media reports last week, Mr Das declined to say whether AIM had - or would - bid for the tender, which was put up by the PAP town councils on February 4 and will close on Monday. Dr Teo had also said the latest tender was for developing a new town council management system. The previous tender - which was won by AIM in 2010 - was to sell and lease back computer software to the PAP town councils.
The saga began on December 14 after Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) Chairman Sylvia Lim explained the town council's less-than-stellar performance in a management report.
Ms Lim, part of the Workers' Party team which took over management of the town council after the General Election in 2011, blamed the AHTC's poor performance on the need to develop new IT systems within two months of the PAP-owned AIM terminating its contract last August.
Her explanation was followed by a series of statements by the AHTC and AIM. Among other things, questions were raised about the termination of the contract and the fact that AIM won a tender to manage the computer systems used by the town councils.
Last month, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that the Ministry of National Development will review the transaction. Among other things, the review will re-examine the fundamental nature of town councils, after much public debate about whether the town councils are public institutions or political organisations.
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