NParks officer charged with lying to auditors

NParks officer charged with lying to auditors
Bernard Lim Yong Soon had allegedly denied that he was friends with a director from Bikehop, the supplier of the Brompton bicycles.

SINGAPORE - The National Parks Board officer behind last year's Brompton bike procurement fiasco was charged in court on Thursday with lying to auditors investigating the deal.

Bernard Lim Yong Soon, the NParks assistant director who oversaw the purchase, had allegedly denied that he was friends with a director from Bikehop, the supplier of the bicycles.

A second charge alleges that he had persuaded the director to provide the same false information to the auditors, who as a result of his lies did not look further into the relationship between the two men.

This happened sometime between June and July last year, when Lim was being questioned over the controversial purchase of the folding bicycles, which cost NParks $2,200 each.

The 41-year-old, however, was spared from having to face corruption charges on Thursday, as an extensive assessment of the case by the Attorney-General's Chambers did not uncover any elements of corruption.

The probe had also indicated that the tender procedures for the bicycles, made by British brand Brompton, were in order.

Bids had been called for via a website accessible to the public and potential vendors for a period of time that was permissible under guidelines at the time.

There was no requirement for more than one bid or for the purchase to be from an authorised distributor.

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