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Subject: 20130506 AIM review, MND’s report evades important questions
Dear PM Lee
I refer to our email, as residents contributing to our Town Council, dated 30 Dec 2012 as well as CNA’s “AIM deal given all-clear: MND review” (3 May).
It is important that the government answer in full all the important questions raised by Singaporeans.
MND’s report comes nowhere close and there continues to be many lingering doubts. Since the MND oversees Town Councils, an independent committee should have been tasked to conduct the review.
It came as a shock to many Singaporeans that TCs’ computer system could be sold to a (dormant?) $2 PAP company comprising three directors and two part-timers.
Any software developed with public funds should not have been sold to a private entity. Period. It is clear to the public that TCs should have cut out the middleman i.e. AIM and outsourced directly to the NCS. We are not able to understand the logic for introducing a middleman whose objective was not to make a profit. The cost of developing the software using residents’ funds has not been revealed. Also, why weren’t stakeholders i.e. residents, Parliament etc informed of this transaction? We deserve the right to know.
If “AIM does not seek to make profit from its work done for the PAP TCs. Its Directors are not paid and it charged only a fee to recoup its operational costs.”, why should they assume the risk by putting in a bid? Or was it really not a risk at all as all the money could have been recoup from leasing the system back to TCs?
Do TCs deal with a company which does not keep a proper set of accounts? If AIM’s accounts have been properly kept, making them public would certainly clear most of our doubts.
The government must not remain silent on the issues raised online and assume that they do not matter. Over time, more Singaporeans become even more cynical.
We believe we may be reaching the point where whatever the PAP says will be doubted or dismissed altogether. This is not a healthy development.
The recent tender saw “NEC edged out bids by HCL Singapore and NCS to win the seven-year, $16.8 million contract. It will develop and end-to-end computer management system for 14 town councils under the PAP”. http://sg.news.yahoo.com/aim-won%e2%80%99t-participate-in-pap-town-councils%e2%80%99-tender-080844932.html
This highlights the ridiculous difference between the previous bid of $140,000 and the present minimum bid of $16,800,000.
As HDB residents, we are still not convinced that AIM transaction took into account our interests.
If the government wants to regain our trust, it must discontinue the practice of appointing review committees with vested interests. MND’s report also evaded important questions and is therefore not satisfactory.
A more detailed list of relevant questions has been raised by another concerned citizen (link below) which the government should answer if it really wants to address the issue of transparency.
Thank you and have a nice day..