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AIM saga: What happened

AIM sale complied with regulations and there was no conflict of interest. -ST

Mon, May 06, 2013
The Straits Times

2009: People's Action Party (PAP) town councils appoint Deloitte & Touche Enterprise Risk Services to review their computer systems. Based on its advice, the councils decide to call an open tender to sell the software and lease it back.

2010: A tender is called and Action Information Management (AIM) is the only bidder. It is awarded the contract after being assessed to have met the tender requirements and evaluation criteria.

DEC 14, 2012: Aljunied- Hougang Town Council's (AHTC) chairman Sylvia Lim says that AIM's move to terminate its computer software contract was the reason AHTC failed to receive a grade for corporate governance in a government review.

DEC 17: AIM says it would have extended the software contract if the Workers' Party (WP) had asked, but Ms Lim says an extension "had to be fought for". She also asks why the PAP town councils had sold the software system to AIM and questions how a termination clause in the contract is in the public interest.

DEC 24: PAP town councils' coordinating chairman Teo Ho Pin says the contract complied with financial regulations. He and AIM give details of the 2010 open tender. AIM says the AHTC had wanted to develop its own computer system and had thanked the firm for two extensions it had given.

DEC 28: AIM releases its letters with the AHTC, including one that shows that the town council had wanted to develop its own computer system. Ms Lim says the AHTC had to develop its own system because of a possible termination. She questions the sale of systems developed with public funds to a company owned by a political party.

JAN 3, 2013: Dr Teo gives more details of the sale of the system to AIM, the sole bidder. He says the sale saved the PAP town councils about $8,000. He defends the termination clause, saying the contractor priced its tender based on the existing boundaries of town councils.

JAN 8: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong orders a review of the AIM transaction and the fundamental nature of town councils, to ensure high standards of corporate governance.

FEB 4: PAP town councils call an open tender, seeking a company to develop and maintain a new computer system. FEB 27: AIM says it will not take part in the tender as it helped prepare the tender documents.

APRIL 2: A seven-year contract is awarded to Japanese company NEC Asia Pacific for $16.8 million.

MAY 3: The Ministry of National Development releases its report, saying the AIM sale complied with regulations and there was no conflict of interest. It also recommends a strategic review of town councils, to ensure continuity of services to residents when there is a change of MPs from different political parties.

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