According to the Standing Committee on Disbarment (SCOD), chaired by the Deputy Secretary of Finance (or his deputy), corruption offences are investigated by the Corrupt Practices Investigations Bureau (CPIB) and where appropriate, the CPIB will recommend for debarment of companies that have been convicted by the Court of corruption.

The SCOD comprises of deputy secretaries from various ministries, Attorney General/deputy AG and Director/deputy director of CPIB.

According to the SCOD Authority and Rationale for Debarment, the action would apply to contractors which have been involved in corruption, directors and partners of the debarred company who are involved in corruption, other companies on which the directors/partners/sole proprietors sit, and existing or new subsidiaries of the principal offending company.

With that in mind, another question is raised as to why ST Marine, a company whose seven senior executives were recently convicted of corruption in what has been described as the largest corruption scandal in Singapore.

The subsidiary of Temasek-controlled ST Engineering, was allowed to bid on a sizeable tender by the Ministry of Home Affairs in July 2017. The tender called for the supply and maintenance over 15 or more years of several vessels for the Police Coast Guard.

ST Marine was eventually awarded this contract in July 2018 with a quote of S$312 million, about 55% higher than the original tender sum.

Bear in mind, the last of the former senior executives was sentenced in the year of the tender bid. The corruption scandal itself broke sometime in 2014.

The fact that ST Marine was even allowed to bid on the tender raises the question of whether they were debarred at all from participating in bidding on government contracts following the corruption convictions. If they were, how long were they debarred for?

TOC has reached out to SCOD for clarification.

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