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Auditor-General's Office points out fresh 'lapses' in MCI's WOG creative tender

Auditor-General's Office points out fresh 'lapses' in MCI's WOG creative tender

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Singapore's Auditor-General's Office (AGO) has found 'lapses' in the procurement and contract management of five of the 108 tenderers that the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) appointed to a second Whole-of- Government Period Contract and Framework Agreement (WOG PCFA) panel that was established in April 2022. 

The lapses included inadequate evaluations of the tender; it said in its annual report for the financial year 2022/23.

In its report, AGO noted that the WOG PCFA on creative services for communications campaigns for MCI commenced in October 2018 and ended in April 2022. 

Following the expiry of the WOG PCFA, a second WOG PCFA was established in April 2022 with a total of 108 tenderers appointed to the panel. The second WOG PCFA was approved at a procurement value of $300 million, it said in its report. 

Don't miss: Auditor-General's Office points out 'lapses' in MCI's WOG creative tender

However, when AOG reviewed the tender recommendation report for the second WOG PCFA, it found that five of the 108 tenderers should not have been appointed as they did not meet the evaluation criteria. 

The evaluation criteria published in the Invitation to Tender stated that tenderers were to be evaluated based on quality and price, said AOG. Tenderers were required to obtain a final score of at least 50% to be appointed to the panel of vendors. Unfortunately, AOG noted that five tenderers did not obtain a minimum final score of 50% but were still recommended for award and appointed to the panel of vendors. 

AGO added that of the five tenderers who were wrongly appointed, purchases were made from two of them during the period 29 April 2022 to 27 July. Four purchase orders with a total value of $0.39 million were also issued to those 2 tenderers.

MCI has since informed AGO that it recognises this as a "serious lapse". MCI explained to the AGO that the error over the appointment of the five vendors was due to an omission of the pre-set scoring formula for some tenderers.

It added that all five vendors have since been removed from the panel.

As work had already commenced for the four purchase orders, the vendors will be allowed to continue with the projects. MCI also informed AGO that it had since strengthened its procurement processes, including setting up a dedicated procurement team and equipping officers with relevant procurement knowledge.

This news comes a year after AGO found 'lapses' in an earlier WOG PCFA panel by MCI. According to its annual audit of government accounts for the financial year 2021-2022, AGO said there was a lack of clarity on units of measurement for tenderers to submit bids; inadequate evaluation of tender; and approval for contract variation was not obtained from the appropriate authority.

At the same time, AGO found that MCI did not monitor the spread of awards to vendors under the creative services tender. 

According to AGO, MCI, as the sector lead, did not monitor the spread of contracts awarded to vendors under the WOG tender. As at 31 December 2021, the top vendor (by procurement value) was awarded SG$124.06 million (38%) of the total procurement of SG$322.74 million under the WOG tender contract agreement. The next two highest vendors were awarded contracts totalling SG$22.90 million (7%) and SG$20.04 million (6%) respectively.

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MCI removes Raya video after netizen backlash about racial stereotypes
MCI adds 108 agencies to SG whole of government creative roster

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