Overview of Defence Procurement

OVERVIEW OF DEFENCE PROCUREMENT

Defence procurement, like any other public sector procurement, is governed by the Government’s Instruction Manual on Procurement which is premised on the principles of transparency, fairness and value for money. For more details, click here and here .

Transparency

Suppliers are engaged through an open and transparent tender system. Procurement opportunities exceeding S$5000 are published in the GeBIZ portal, which also provides information on the schedule of bids and tender awards. Requirements, key evaluation criteria and procedures are communicated clearly in the tender documents.

Fairness

We believe that open and fair competition, besides drawing out the best offers, is the best safeguard against anti-competitive behaviour and restrictive business practices. As such, we offer equitable access to procurement opportunities to all suppliers. We do not accord preferential treatment to any supplier or country.

Value for Money

We strive to achieve value for money throughout the procurement process, from requirement definition, to formulation of sourcing strategy, contract design, contract management and finally, in disposal of assets, to fulfill our responsibility as prudent stewards of defence resources.

CODE OF CONDUCT

All public officers are governed by a clear code of conduct and discipline which prohibits any conflict of interest between the officers’ public duties and their activities outside these official duties. For example, a public officer may not, directly or indirectly, make use of any official information or his official position to further anyone’s private interest, including his own.

Public officers must not receive any donation, gift or any other benefit (monetary or goods in kind), offered to them from the public and suppliers. If the circumstances are such that it would be impractical or inappropriate to refuse a benefit, the officer must immediately declare the benefit to his supervisor. These rules also apply to social invitations or other forms of entertainment, which will place the officer under any apparent or real obligation to those offering such benefits.

In any procurement, any officer who is vested with the power to be an approving authority is required to declare any potential conflict of interest and, if necessary, recuse himself or herself from the procurement process.

ANTI-CORRUPTION POLICY

MINDEF is committed to upholding Singapore’s reputation as a clean, honest and trustworthy country, and one which maintains the highest levels of integrity and incorruptibility. For more details click here .

Singapore’s anti-corruption framework relies on a strong culture of public accountability underpinned by an elaborate set of checks and balances, the rule of law which includes strong and effective laws, a legislative that openly debates issues on defence and security, an independent judiciary, and vigorous enforcement. Reporting directly to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau or CPIB is Singapore’s independent anti-corruption agency that spearheads anti-corruption efforts. It has the mandate to investigate, without fear or favour, all corruption offences (Cap. 241) as well as other criminal cases in which corruption may be involved, in both the public and private sectors.

Operating under Singapore’s anti-corruption framework, MINDEF, the SAF and DSTA adopt a zero tolerance policy towards bribery and corruption. All suspected cases of bribery or corruption will be referred to the CPIB for investigation. Servicemen and staff who have been convicted of bribery or corruption will be discharged from service in addition to facing punishment meted out by the courts.

Personnel in positions to influence contract awards are regularly rotated after reasonable timeframes and subjected to security vetting. All personnel have to declare their financial status annually in accordance with Government policy.

Suppliers and persons that are involved in corruption cases will also be debarred from any new tenders or contracts with the entire Government and will be fined, jailed or both. The Government also has zero tolerance for bid rigging, collusion and other anti-competitive behaviour and practices. Suppliers that engage in such practices will be barred from participation in Government tenders.

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FEEDBACK AND COMPLAINTS

The public and suppliers may provide feedback through the various channels below. All feedback is treated in confidence, with the identity of informers protected under the Prevention of Corruption Act (Cap. 241). Legitimate complaints will not prejudice suppliers’ future or ongoing involvement in tenders and contracts.

SYSTEM OF AUDITS

A comprehensive system of internal and external audits is in place to ensure the adequacy and effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes in MINDEF, SAF and DSTA. Regular audits are conducted by the respective Internal Audit Departments and the Auditor-General's Office or AGO.

SOURCING

Open competitive sourcing through invitation to quote (ITQ) or invitation to tender (ITT) is the default means of procurement.

Direct sourcing or sourcing by invitation is adopted in exceptional circumstances. These include for instance, procurement of highly specialised and advanced products or services where sources are limited, or where open competition is not appropriate for security reasons.

As part of the sourcing process, DSTA may conduct Request for Information (RFI) exercises or market surveys through GeBIZ, where interested suppliers are invited to submit product and pricing information. Such RFIs in themselves will not result in any contract award as they are conducted for other specified purposes including identification of potential suppliers and assessment of market conditions (such as product availability, market readiness and competitiveness).

EVALUATION AND APPROVAL

Evaluation is carried out in a fair and objective manner, in accordance with the principles of Government procurement. Every proposal is evaluated on its technical merits, contractual compliance and cost. Depending on the evaluation criteria stipulated in the tender, the lowest offer may not necessarily be selected.

Major defence acquisitions are subject to an evaluation system based on the Analytic Hierarchy Process. This involves a comprehensive scoring and a robust technical assessment. To ensure that the technical assessment is not influenced by the price, a two-envelope system is used, with the pricing information released to the evaluation team only after the benefits assessment is completed.

As a policy, MINDEF does not require offsets, export credit financing or any other forms of financing arrangements.

Procurements above $80,000 in value must be approved by a tenders' board comprising a minimum of three senior officers.

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CONTRACTS

The awarded procurement contract must first be made by the parties in accordance with the Government Contracts Act (Cap. 120). The Singapore Government is not bound by a contract which does not conform to the obligations set out in this Act. The awarded procurement contract, such as the parties’ performance of their respective obligations, is governed by the private law of obligations (e.g. that of contract and of sale), which is the same as an ordinary commercial sales transaction. The contract facilitates planning, secures the expectations of MINDEF, SAF and DSTA, and sets out the obligations of the Companies that are awarded the contracts.

A written procurement contract made in Singapore for the Government would have to "be made in the name of the Government and signed by a Minister or by any public officer duly authorised in writing by the Minister for Finance, either specially in any particular case, or generally for all contracts below a certain value in his Ministry or department".

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SALES, DISPOSALS AND REVENUE CONTRACTING

DSTA also manages the procurement of disposal services and the sales of redundant or retired assets for MINDEF and the SAF. Similar to the procurement of goods and services, there is a structured process involving segregation of duties, designated approval authorities and proper documentation for accountability and audit trail. The default approach for sales is open tendering, with direct sourcing permitted only under exceptional circumstances.

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