SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Finance (MOF) said that government agencies are encouraged to alert potential suppliers to opportunities that are published on the government’s GeBIZ procurement website.
Responding to queries from Channel NewsAsia on Wednesday, MOF said agencies may also publicise opportunities on their websites to ensure that there is sufficient attention.
Some had asked if the online tender process encourages widespread participation from suppliers, following the Brompton bike purchase by Nparks in which only one vendor responded.
MOF said that the calling of tenders and quotations through GeBIZ ensures fairness and transparency.
As an internet platform, GeBIZ has wider outreach and also enables suppliers to view the procurement opportunity throughout the tender or quotation opening period, the ministry added.
There are currently over 50,000 suppliers registered with GeBIZ, who may opt to receive alerts on relevant business opportunities through email or RSS.
MOF added that it undertakes regular reviews of public sector procurement rules and guidelines.
A ministry spokesperson said that the ministry is examining the process and, where necessary, will make adjustments to ensure there are adequate safeguards while maintaining operational efficiency.
One corporate governance expert said more companies should be encouraged to sign up as GeBIZ trading partners, to ensure a fairer tender process.
Associate Professor Ho Yew Kee from the NUS Business School said: "What other alternative do you have? You advertise in the newspapers, that’s going to be very costly. In anything that you do, there can be the argument that the vendors don’t read newspapers, or alternatively, this particular advertisement is too selective. So there’s no perfect process.
"I think the way to do this is to encourage more vendors to come onto GeBIZ and then to exercise due diligence, to search that space continuously for opportunities for business."
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