Responding to a question from DPP Hon, the SCDF's logistics department director, Colonel Chin Lai Fong, the prosecution's third witness, said based on the instruction manual, officers should not participate in the tendering process should there be a conflict of interest.

She added: "If you know the supplier who is participating in the tender should void yourself from participating in the tender."

She said in the event that the commissioner is not available or is unable to sign, the SCDF's senior director of emergency service could step in. And if this senior director is unavailable or unable to sign, the senior director of corporate service can take his or her place.

There is always an alternative member, the court heard.

The court also heard that a few days after the 2011 Japan earthquake and the nuclear plant accidents at Fukushima, Lim had informed the SCDF's HazMat (hazardous materials) department to source for more RPMs in case the nuclear situation got worse.

At that time, the SCDF had six RPMs, of which some were faulty.

Explaining how the SCDF decided to call for tenders, Colonel Chin said the supplier who had previously provided the RPMs was quoting a "very steep" price and that repairing the faulty RPMs would have cost "more than the net book value".

The trial continued on Wednesday.

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