Governments across the globe are catching on to the benefits of digital procurement systems, but as Singapore works to establish its own platform, new challenges mean the government and local suppliers will have to be a bit more patient until the federal procurement platform is up and running.
Reports published Friday (July 17) revealed that the People’s Association (PA) will be reviewing its procurement measures following a scathing review of the process by the Auditor-General’s Office earlier this month. This review, to be conducted by the Grassroots Finance Review Committee, is slated to take about three months, reports said.
The People’s Association was established to promote social welfare and racial harmony in the nation. More than 50 years old, the PA is a government-run group created through Parliament.
“The committee will recommend suitable measures that would enable our 37,000 grassroots leaders and volunteers to continue to service the community’s best interests while maintaining good governance and sound financial practices,” the People’s Association said in a statement announcing the review. The review will aim to propose refinements and new processes for procurement and financial practices, and the review will be overseen by the Finance Ministry.
The review follows an audit of the procurement practices of public agencies in Singapore released last week by the Auditor-General. The findings found reason to criticize the PA’s gaps in contract management, and the report concluded that there is a “lack of oversight” by the association when it comes to grassroots organizations’ compliance with financial and procurement rules. Members of these organizations agreed that there is room for improvement when it comes to compliance and procurement management.
Research has linked the success of government efforts to digitize procurement practices with the tendency for the private sector to follow suit. And while the reasons for governments around the globe to adopt e-procurement strategies varies, the benefits can often be the same: reduced time and money on procurement methods and improved transparency in government measures.