SINGAPORE: The chairman of a tender board must separate himself from any dealings with a potential supplier if there’s personal interest involved, including a scenario where oral sex has taken place.
This was the evidence given by assistant director of purchasing branch of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), Mr Roger Wong, when he took the stand on the fourth day of the sex—for—contracts trial of ex—SCDF commissioner Peter Lim.
Mr Wong said the purchasing branch, which is in charge of the procurement processes of the SCDF, refers closely to the government instruction manual on how to conduct these processes, as a government officer would have access to privileged information.
This makes it necessary to prevent personal interests from conflicting with his official duties.
On Thursday, the prosecution reinforced its point that Lim should have exempted himself from the procurement process.
Lim sat on one of the tender boards that had the final approval on awarding tenders.
To illustrate the prosecution’s point, Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Kiat Pheng painted scenarios to Mr Wong.
One of the scenarios revolves around the chairman of a tender board making enquiries about a product with a female sales representative of a company after they had oral sex.
He asked if there’s conflict of interest here.
Mr Wong replied that there is, adding that there’s a proper chain of processes for procurement, which does not involve the chairman of the tender board making basic enquiries.
In any case, the chairman should have declared this conflict of interest, since he has the final sign—off, he said.
It’s the prosecution’s case that Lim, after he has had oral sex with Ms Pang Chor Mui — a senior executive of Nimrod Engineering — contacted her to enquire about the supply of walk—through Radiation Portal Monitors, when the agency’s need for these monitors was not made public.
It was also established that the SCDF had estimated the procurement value of the contract for the Radiation Portal Monitors to be S$958,000.
Ms Pang is expected to take the stand when the second tranche of the trial resumes in March.
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