Board of inquiry set up to probe SGX shutdown

Board of inquiry set up to probe SGX shutdown

A board of inquiry has been set up by the Singapore Exchange (SGX) to investigate the cause of the power fault that shut down the exchange for more than three hours last Wednesday.

The board will include independent experts appointed by SGX, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam yesterday morning on the sidelines of a community health event.

The exchange is working closely with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and will look into two aspects - infrastructure such as the primary power supply and back-up systems, and its decision-making processes during times of crisis, said Mr Tharman, who is also Finance Minister.

"Often it's not just a matter of infrastructure going down; decision-making as to how quickly you switch from your primary sites to your secondary sites, and that decision was delayed," he said.

On Nov 5, a voltage fluctuation caused by lightning affected SGX's primary data centre.

The incident has affected Singapore's reputation as a financial centre, he said, adding that the MAS was taking the matter very seriously.

Mr Tharman said that MAS will decide on any actions later.

This setback, he said, was a chance to review processes and standard operating procedures in place here.

He noted that similar incidents have also happened in other financial centres overseas but added: "It doesn't matter what happens overseas. We've got to get it right here and make sure our reputation is kept intact."

SGX elaborated that the board-level inquiry committee will comprise four members. Independent experts who have specialist knowledge of data centre and exchange market operations will be appointed for the probe.

SGX added that it views the breakdown as a very serious incident and recognises the urgent need to find out the cause and why the back-up systems did not work, with the objective of doing everything possible to prevent any recurrence.

MAS said that the SGX is required to submit a preliminary investigation report within two weeks of the incident.

This article was first published on Nov 10, 2014.
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