What steps are taken to ensure that Government expenditure is prudent and that public money is not spent irresponsibly?
Public officers are accountable for the resources that have been entrusted to them. They must show diligence in ensuring value-for-money in the management and use of the resources. Approval from the relevant authority has to be sought before any purchase can be made. Procurements above $90,000 in value must be approved by a tender board comprising at least 3 senior officers. Value-for-money is emphasised as one of the key principles of Government Procurement. All procurement officers undergo structured training to help them understand and apply procurement principles, including and especially value-for-money. Government agencies are advised to avoid over-specification of requirements in their quotations/tenders so as not to limit competition. In general, quotations must be open for at least 7 working days, and tenders for at least 14 calendar days (25 for tenders covered under our international trade agreements) to ensure that suppliers have sufficient time to submit their bids*. When evaluating bids, government agencies are expected to take into account - in addition to price - maintenance cost, operating cost, and warranty clauses. Demand aggregation among government agencies is another means to reap economies of scale and achieve greater value-for-money. * The minimum opening periods apply to tenders and quotations which are open to all suppliers. In instances where procurement is limited (e.g. due to sole supplier or national security concerns), different opening periods apply.
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