SCDF director testifying in ex-chief Peter Lim court case says agency has rigorous system of checks to ensure fairness & transparency

A director of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) has defended the tender process of the agency, saying it has a rigorous system of checks before final approval is given.

Director of Logistics, Colonel Chin Lai Fong, told the court on Wednesday (20 Feb) that this is to ensure that the process is fair and transparent.

Colonel Chin, the prosecution's witness, said on Day 3 of the trial of former SCDF chief Peter Lim that an evaluation committee must assess the bids before any decision to award a tender is made.

The committee has at least seven people.

Some of them are from departments which are different from that of the officer requesting the product.

After that, the recommendations will go to a tender board, made up of three high-ranking officers.

The panel will then sign off on the procurement process.

Colonel Chin said all decisions are made independently by each officer.

The tender cannot be awarded if any officer does not agree with the recommendations of the committee.

Lim's Lawyer, Hamidul Haq, told the court his client, who sat on two tender boards, had contributed ideas before he became commissioner to help ensure that the process is fair.

The court also heard that two other security systems companies could have been aware of the SCDF's need for more walkthrough radiation portal monitors - even before the tender was made public on April 6 2011.

One is security system company, SECOM - SCDF's existing vendor for such machines.

The other is IPS Securex.

SCDF had contacted SECOM to enquire about the costs and availability of these machines, while IPS Securex had been invited to do a demonstration.

Both incidents took place in March 2011.

Colonel Chin said she didn't consider this as insider information as she had not provided either company with the specifics of what SCDF needed,

At the time, SCDF had been directed by the Home Affairs ministry to prepare to scan passengers arriving in Singapore, amid fears of radiation fallout from the damaged nuclear plant in Fukushima.

Lim is accused of obtaining oral sex from Pang Chor Mui, a general manager of Nimrod Engineering, at a carpark in Stadium Walk in May 2010 in exchange for advancing her company's business interests with the SCDF.

The prosecution's premise is that Nimrod was tipped off by Lim with regard to SCDF's need for these machines, before the tender notice was published