Deputy Secretary (Development) Tay Kim Poh had his hands tied from the very beginning. Although charged with a review of the sale in 2010 of the Town Council Management System (TCMS) software belonging to the PAP Town Councils to Action Information Management Pte Ltd (AIM), he knew the parameters of his purview were not free of political agenda. When his boss told him to jump, he could only ask, "How high?"
Public attention was focused on why TCs with millions of dollars in reserves will transact business with a $2 company. With only $2 in equity, how did AIM come up with the money in 2010 to buy $140,000 of software and lease it back? There are lots of interesting details not revealed in the MND Review Report. In the 7 pages of annexes to the 37 page report, not a single page of balance sheet or profit and loss account is included. Without the disclosure of accounting data, it is difficult to verify, as the Report claims, "There was no misuse or loss of public monies in the transaction".
But there was an interesting revelation on page 2:
In 1994, the Housing & Development Board (HDB) informed the TCs that it would cease HDB's IT system support used by all TCs. This was to be effected by 1996 as part of HDB's handover of responsibilities and functions to the TCs. The PAP TCs decided to aggregate their demand and called for an open tender in 1994 for the development, installation and maintenance of a Town Council Management System (TCMS) software. AIM participated in the tender and was awarded the contract to develop this first generation TCMS.
In 2003, the TCs called an open tender to develop and maintain the second generation TCMS. This was awarded to National Computer Systems Pte Ltd (NCS). AIM did not participate in the tender.
So, we are given to believe, way back in 1994, AIM actually had the manpower and resources to develop, install and maintain the first generation TCMS. And if AIM had served TCs well, why did it not participate in the 2003 tender? So many questions, so few answers. BTW why did the MND Review Team members choose to be anonymous?