In its audit report for Financial Year 2015/2016 published on 26 July, the Auditor-General Office (AGO) found that found that the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) bought a computer system, a Document Generator System (DGS), for a sum of $432,407 for integration with its Foreign Domestic Worker System (FDWS) only to find that it could not be integrated.
AGO states that the DGS had been left unused since November 2014, for one and a half years as at the time of audit. This has resulted in a waste of public funds, said AGO.
In its test-check on assets purchased by MOM for its FDWS (costing $27.49 million), including the DGS, AGO noted that MOM had not carried out a robust evaluation before proceeding with the procurement of the DGS.
AGO noted that MOM, in its tender evaluation in March 2014, did not evaluate whether the DGS could integrate with the FDWS which was to be developed separately.
According to MOM, it decided not to use the DGS after it found out that the DGS could not be integrated with the FDWS in November 2014 as it would not be cost effective to make the required modifications.
However, AGO noted that there was no documentary evidence that MOM had put up any plans to redeploy the unused DGS assets. There were only some working level discussions on the redeployment, which eventually did not materialise.
AGO notes that a number of the DGS assets (such as hardware servers, database licences) could have been redeployed for other uses within MOM or other government agencies. Not doing so would result in a waste of public funds as the usability of these assets would be reduced with the lapse of time, due to technology obsolescence or expiry of licences.
It is said that MOM acknowledged that its evaluation should have been more robust and that it could have taken more active steps to explore redeployment of the DGS assets to other government agencies. MOM informed AGO that it is currently exploring the redeployment of the DGS assets within MOM.