The Elections Department (ELD) under the Prime Minister’s Office has called a three-year tender on Wed (10 Jul) to provide documents-related services, including printing, packing and delivery.
The tender is the second tender called by the ELD in the span of two months after it opened a tender for the provision of bus transportation services to support election operations.
The contractor who will be awarded the tender will be bound by a contract starting 28 Aug this year to 27 Aug 2022, which stipulates that in addition to:
- printing and packing items such as printed cards, forms, posters, signs, ballot box funnels and plastic folders, and
- delivering documents to poll stations, counting centres and the ELD training centre,
the contractor to whom the tender is awarded will be responsible for providing a secured storage facility for election materials with closed-circuit surveillance cameras (CCTV) and physical access controls.
An option to extend the contract for a maximum of two years in addition to the original three years may be available to the appointed contractor.
The initial three years in the contract will cover the upcoming General Election, which is rumoured to be held some time later this year but must be held no later than Apr 2021, as well as any by-elections.
The two-year annual extension may accommodate the next Presidential Election, given that the next one must be held by 2023. The extension will also similarly cover any by-elections during the relevant period.
PM Lee has yet to convene ERBC for next GE
While the opening of GE-related tenders do not necessarily confirm that a GE will be held soon, the formation of the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee (EBRC) is often a surefire way to indicate that a GE is around the corner, as boundaries of Group Representative Constituencies (GRCs) and Single Member Constituencies (SMCs) are redrawn by the Committee.
A GRC is a large electoral division, both in terms of population as well as physical area, comprising a group of Members of Parliament (MPs) representing the interests of those residents in the electoral division, while an SMC is an electoral division that has a single MP representing the interests of those residents in the electoral division.
The Committee’s specific tasks include splitting or shrinking GRCs, and to absorb or create more SMCs, based mainly on population shifts.
The Prime Minister is in charge of appointing the members of the review committee, typically comprising five civil servants, while the Secretary to the Prime Minister chairs the Committee.
In the 2006 and 2011 elections, the EBRC had taken four months to complete its work before submitting its report, while the formation of the EBRC was only revealed two months after its formation in 2015 due to a question filed by the Workers’ Party MP.
Earlier this month, Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing revealed that the ERBC for the next election has yet to be formed, indicating that the upcoming GE might not happen in Sep as widely speculated.
Responding to a question raised by WP chief Pritam Singh to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on 8 Jul, who wanted to know if PM Lee has established the committee, and if not, when he intends to do so.
Mr Chan, in his written response on behalf of PM Lee, wrote: “The Prime Minister has not yet appointed the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee.”
This is the second time that Mr Pritam Singh had raised the question as to when PM Lee will form the committee.
He had earlier posed a similar question back in Feb: “It would be a waste of Parliament’s time, and bordering on an abuse of process, if an MP had to file the same parliamentary question to the Prime Minister when rumours of an imminent election are in the air.”
Although there is no exact deadline for the election date to be announced after the ERBC’s report is made public, the time taken in previous elections has ranged from one day to a month and 26 days.