Friday, July 18, 2014

Lying Through The Nose

It is starting to look like the Brompton bikes saga was just the tip of the iceberg.

The Auditor-General's Office (AGO) has reported that certain documents relating to  the National Parks Board's development of the Gardens by the Bay may have been created and backdated to give the impression that they existed when the transactions took place, and deemed a "serious irregularity".

An internal inquiry by the Ministry of National Development (MND) confirmed that an NParks officer had indeed created and backdated 16 letters, purportedly issued by NParks to its suppliers, to satisfy AGO queries. The same officer also arranged for the suppliers to issue a further 11 backdated letters - 5 of which were created by the officer on their behalf. In plain English, someone also fibbed to another civil service officer.

And, as in the early stage of the Brompton bike fiasco, MND is quick to claim that the integrity of the system of contract variations and payments has not been compromised. An eery similitude of Khaw Boon Wan's premature judgment that the purchase of the $2,600 foldable bikes was above board.

However, the AGO is skeptical about MND's trite explanation that their officer had fooled the system "so to regularise gaps in the documentation of communications with the suppliers for completeness of record". Apparently in the MND scheme of things, lying to an investigating officer is part of the company culture. Or it's just how the minister in charge downplays any evidence of shenanigans.

15 comments:

  1. The Auditor General had been reporting irregularities for umpteen years but the Reports year after year could still paint a dismal picture of the overall Civil Service and Stat Boards standards.
    What is more alarming is that the AGO only audit some of the departments each year !
    Guess, the AGO ' superior must be comfortable with his findings and see no reason to get excited, agitated or a wee bit concerned . Who could that be ?
    No wonder I am and can never be in that powerful position !
    By the way, can I call upon the Auditor General to tender his resignation or Commission if his boss could not care less ?
    An Honourable Gentlemen would .

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    1. As Shawne Wang the poor little disillusioned oxford scholar ifnormed us, governing is "harder than politicking", becoz it involves "compromises", ie you close one eye, I look away, we all happily draw our GDP bonues year after year lor. The first one to go is the Head of Civil Service and the respective sperm secs, politicians can only be boted out after an election fiasco, eg WKS and MBT, and even then, they lurk around in shadows.

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  2. Wait for a CSI to shed more light on this. The Gardens by the Bay chicanery may just be a cat 1 storm in a teacup, or it may turn out to be a cat 5 storm compared to the Brompton bikes saga, which is chicken feed. This developement was then a billion dollar project which ran over budget, and the pride and joy of the esteemed Mah Bow Tan, the horse before the cow, so to speak, the most absent parliamentarian in 2012 - understandable I suppose, after his demotion from the helm of the MND.

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  3. Forging documents is a serious crime. Why wasn't the officer/s responsible be prosecuted? After all, a school principal is now in court for lying to investigating officers. Is there an effort to prevent a can of worms from being exposed?

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    1. They are only good at catching small worms. There are bigger elephants out there but they close one eye, two eyes.

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    2. Forging "to regularise gaps in the documentation of communications with the suppliers for completeness of record" so as to cover your meritocratic boss' ass is a commendable act worthy of a national day award.

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  4. The whole project is a sheer waste of public funds. Whose idea is it to plant fake trees and fake gardens? Then again, whose idea to give names like Malay Garden, Chinese Garden. Still trying to divide our nation like how they issue aid through CDAC, Mendaki, etc?

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  5. Lying to cheat the uninformed is deeply ingrained amongst local elites. For example:

    SIA flatly denied they fly over Ukraine after MH17 was shot down, and this even as Flightradar 24 tracked 3 flights SQ351, MH17 and an AirIndia flight within a 25nm radius of Donestk just before MH17 disappeared. Don't take my word, trust your official propaganda channel, Channel News Asia here: Looks like the lessons of SQ006 were quickly forgotten in their hurry to climb their corporate ladders.

    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-airlines/1270454.html

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    1. Technically, the SIA spokesman was not lying. What he said on Friday 18 July (after the shooting down of MH17) was "At this point, we are no longer using the Ukrainian airspace and have re-routed all our flights to alternative flight paths that are away from the region."

      Note "At this point..." So, they are telling the truth, but not the whole truth. We are no longer using the Ukrainian airspace, but he forgot to add - however, we were using Ukrainian prior to 18 July 2014....

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  6. This report does not make the government any more transparent than it is now. Its main purpose is more to keep the worker bees on their toes.

    The report should have the following disclaimer printed as well:

    "No government scholar is harmed in the compilation of this report"

    "The buck stops below" maxim always applies when meting out punishment for serious lapses and failures uncovered. The "privilege" of facing the music is solely reserved for the non-elites. You can be sure elites like CEOs, perm secs, directors and department heads will always be faultless and unscathed.

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  7. Was it another AIM scandal in the making? Was there any attempt in cover-up whoever was responsible ? Why was it the Auditor General & not the Attorney General who should be taking action?

    Come to think about it, is forging letters a lesser offence than defamation in the eyes of the Man In White?

    Again so many questions and no known answers will become the social norm of our PAP Govt? LKY how come not bothered any more?

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  8. With the latest MH17 incident, they are sooooo happy that the spotlight has shifted... hhhhaaa.. can breathe a little more now..

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  9. When there is no penalty for lying.

    Why not?

    Lying frees one from responsibility and accountability. Where on Earth can one finds such wonderful excuse? You say lah.

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  10. What other skeletons are still lying inside the cupboard? We will never know, unless and until they fall from grace.

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  11. They just let us know the known knowns. We have to wait for the known unknowns. Not to mention what might shock us when we come to the unknown unkowns. I hope it is not going to take 50 man years to find out, because many things happen in 50 year cycles.

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