Singapore in Brief

National Library Pays Vendor Higher Prices for Poorer Service

Singapore’s Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) has slammed the National Library Board (BLB) for approving a vendor that quoted higher prices, but took longer lead time compared to another vendor.


The AGO said that the NLB’s procurement system suffered from “logic flaws and inadequacies”.


Between December 2012 and October 2013, library materials worth S$3.76 million were purchased from the only vendor recommending the title through the computerised system, without giving other vendors a chance to enter a quote.


Test checks the AGO conducted on 249 titles showed that had other vendors been allowed to enter a quote, the NLB would have saved S$6,000.


61 purchases were made from a vendor which quoted higher prices and a longer lead time than another vendor.


The NLB says it’s computerised procurement system is designed to help the selection and acquisition of books from its panel of vendors “with minimal human intervention”.


The NLB was one of 8 agencies highlighted in the AGO’s report for the Financial Year 2013/14.


These agencies were also cited for procurement lapses:


-the Ministry of Education,

-Singapore Civil Defence Force,

-National Heritage Board,

-Health Sciences Authority,

-Central Provident Fund Board,

-National Council of Social Service and Standards,

-Productivity and Innovation Board

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