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Offer volunteers a decent meal, at least

Letter by Leong Sze Hian to Straits Times forum page published on 14 August 2010:

I REFER to yesterday's report ("Caterer acts after criticism of YOG food").

It states: "The committee did not respond to questions on how much was budgeted for volunteers' meals and whether there had been any guidelines for food provision."

Since volunteers are not paid, I think the least that organisers could do is provide them with decent meals. As Singapore is hosting the first Youth Olympic Games, which will be reported by media internationally, such news does not bode well for Singapore's reputation.

In the interest of public accountability, and given the fact that the YOG budget is already almost four times over the original budget, the following questions should be answered:

- How much was budgeted for each meal of a volunteer? Was it a problem with the budget or a case of the caterer scrimping to make more money perhaps?

- Was a tender exercise done to award the catering budget? If so, was it given to the lowest bidder, and what was the second highest bid?

Answering the above questions may help to ensure that similar problems do not occur in future events.