Monday, July 16, 2012

Government spending revealed: National Parks spent $10,000 on dining and wining workshop for scholars

Just as the suspicious tender procedure in connection with the National Parks Board's (NParks') purchase of $2200 Brompton bikes comes under intense scrutiny by netizens (here), another NParks tender is shedding light on the spending habit of the government ministries.

TR Emeritus, 15 July, 2012 (source)

On 13 Jun 2012, NParks published a tender on GEBIZ inviting suppliers to quote for a “one-day western dining etiquette, wine appreciation and preparation of simple meals workshop” for the Ministry of National Development (MND) scholars.

The tender on GEBIZ [Link] stated that it was published on 13 Jun, 3:56 PM. The closing date was 18 Jun. The contact person was listed as Christina Lee:

The tender document specified a one day workshop teaching MND (Ministry of National Development) scholars Western dining etiquette and wine appreciation. The workshop was also supposed to teach these scholars how to prepare simple meals. It said that the workshop was part of the scholars’ induction programme with the “objective to enrich our scholars with essential knowledge in these areas during their course of studies overseas”:

The tender specification is stated as follows:

It appears that MND scholars are not only going overseas to study, they are supposed to “wine and dine” too, of course, all at the expense of our taxpayers.

Perhaps NParks should also consider throwing in another workshop for our MND scholars on how to date so that they can get married quickly when they are back in Singapore and make babies for Singapore in view of our low fertility rate.

In any case, 2 suppliers participated in the tender:
  • EKA TRAINING GROUP PTE LTD – quoted $7,000 in total at $140 per head.
  • SHATEC INSTITUTES PTE LTD – quoted $9,750 in total at $195 per head.
The tender was awarded to SHATEC on 21 Jun, even though it had quoted a higher price of $9,750. Presumably, EKA may not have met NParks’ other criteria:

It is not known if scholars like ex-CNB chief Ng Boon Gay and ex-SCDF chief Peter Lim had to go through such kind of courses to learn how to dine and wine or how to date when they were on scholarships.

It is also not known when the Minister of National Development, Khaw Boon Wan, was a Colombo Plan scholar, did he go through such courses too?

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