Singapore Government Procurement System

新加坡自一九九七年一月起即成為WTO政府採購協定(GPA)簽署國,該國政府採購法(Government Procurement Act)則於二○○二年五月起施行【註:星國自一九九七年一月起成為GPA會員國,加入GPA後其政府採購法一九九七年版獲星國總統批准】。所有政府機關均依照財政部預算署(Budget Division)所制定的採購法規來辦理。該國政府採購制度符合APEC政府採購不具拘束力原則(NBPs,包含:透明化、預算最佳利用、公開且有效的競爭、公平處理、歸責性與適當程序及不歧視等六項),並已完成六項不具拘束力原則的自我檢視,其中,電子化政府採購之引用提昇該國政府採購制度透明化。星國政府採購招標資訊及決標結果均公告於政府電子商務系統網站(Government Electronic Business System, GEBIZ),該網站旨在鼓勵廠商良性競爭,並透過單一平台提供廠商可預測的招標環境,任何廠商,包括中小型企業皆可進入該網站送交企劃書、投標文件與報價等。GEBIZ線上招標作業自二○○三年七月起開始實施,廠商在決標後亦可取得相關標案資訊。相較於世界各國提供類似服務網站之收費情形,星國的電子化政府採購入門網站之收費標準相當合理,星國政府並向其中小企業保證會有效經營GEBIZ網站。星國因係東南亞國協(ASEAN)的會員國之一,故給予東協會員國財物及勞務供應廠商2.5%優惠差價,每件標案最高可達四萬美元之優惠差價。此外,星國也同時提供和其簽署雙邊自由貿易協定(FTA)之國家優惠待遇,目前該國已與紐西蘭、日本、美國及澳洲簽署FTA,其中與澳洲所簽定的FTA未涉及市場開放,僅對採購程序原則加以規範。星國表示二○○二年政府採購總金額為119億元新加坡幣(1美元 = 1.7星幣(Singapore Dollar)),約佔其7.6% GDP。採購金額超過五萬元新加坡幣必須透過公開招標程序辦理,以契約金額來看,大約94.3%的採購案是透過公開招標方式辦理。另外國廠商參與其市場的比率,若以得標的契約金額計為5.2%,若以決標數目計則為2.5%。為有效管理,該國規定有興趣參與政府採購市場的廠商必須至以下單位登記:一般財物與勞務採購須至消費採購政策小組(Expenditure and Procurement Policies Unit, EPPU)登記;與工程相關的財物與勞務採購則須至建築與工程局(Building and Construction Authority, BCA)登記。星國政府依據政府採購法於一九九八年成立政府採購仲裁法庭(Government Procurement Adjudication Tribunal),以受理違反GPA之採購異議,該國表示政府採購仲裁法庭迄今尚未收到異議。

Singapore is a party to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA); the Agreement entered into force in Singapore in January 1997. The Government Procurement Act came into force in May 2002. Procurement is generally carried out by individual ministries and agencies although some centralized purchasing is carried out by the Ministry of Finance and other lead agencies like the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA). All government bodies are bound by the procurement rules and regulations set out by the Ministry of Finance (Budget Division), which aim to ensure fairness, openness, and competitiveness in government procurement activities. Singapore’s government procurement regime has been consistent with the APEC Non-Binding Principles, including transparency, value for money, open and effective competition, fair dealing, accountability and due process and non-discrimination. The government has completed the voluntary review of government procurement procedures over the years. One major review is in the use of e-procurement for government procurement to enhance the transparency of the government procurement regime.

The tender notices, schedules and awards are published through the Government Electronic Business System (GEBIZ), an internet-based website, which is designed to encourage levels of competition among suppliers by providing a predictable bidding environment through the use of a single platform for suppliers to source for, and submit their proposals , tenders and quotations, and to make the government procurement market as accessible as possible to suppliers, including SMEs and partners of all sizes. Suppliers are now able to do online tendering on the GEBIZ with effect from July 2003. The suppliers can also obtain information on the bids received after the tender closed.

As a Member of the GPA, Singapore maintains thresholds of SDR 130,000 for goods and services for ministries, and SDR 400,000 for statutory boards; for construction services the threshold is SDR 5 million both for ministries and boards. As a member of ASEAN, Singapore maintains a 2.5% preference margin for the supply of goods and auxiliary services from other ASEAN members from untied loans, up to a maximum value of US$40,000 per tender. Singapore maintains that as no other ASEAN country is a party to the WTO GPA, it is permitted under the GPA to extend preferential treatment to other ASEAN countries.[1] However, according to the authorities, the Government does not normally seek external financing through loans but would honour this commitment should it occur; as this has not occurred thus far, the preference is effectively non-operational.

Singapore does give preferential treatment for government procurement under its bilateral FTAs. The thresholds are: SDR 50,000 for all goods and services (subject to the bilateral schedule of commitments for services), under the FTA with New Zealand; SDR 100,000 for goods and services except construction, under the FTA with Japan; and S$102,710 for goods and services for Ministries (SDR 910,000 for statutory boards), S$11,376,000 for construction services (both for Ministries and statutory boards) under the U.S. FTA. There is no agreement with Australia on procurement thresholds, but the agreement is on a principle-based concept, where the Parties agree on the general principles of procurement (e.g. open, fair, transparent, and competitive process) and abide by a framework understanding of the procurement procedures to be applied depending on the circumstances.

The total value of procurement by the Singapore Government (excluding Ministry of Defence classified purchases) in FY 2002 was S$11.9 billion, some 7.6% of GDP, a significant increase from the 1998 figure of 3%. Around 94.3% of this was through open tender (based on contract value); the authorities' rough estimate of the proportion of foreign suppliers in the government procurement market is around 5.2% based on awarded contract value (2.5% based on number of tenders awarded).

Procurement procedures

Procurement procedures remain essentially unchanged since the previous Review of Singapore. Depending on the value of the purchase to be made, procurement may be carried out by "small value purchase", or through quotations or tenders. Purchases of goods and services up to a value of S$2,000 may be carried out directly by the procuring agency, through purchases from known or regular suppliers. For goods and services with a value between S$2,000 and S$50,000, quotations must be invited by at least three sources. Responsibility for such purchases lies with two officials in the procuring agency, one to invite, receive, evaluate, and recommend a supplier and the other to approve the choice made by the first official. All procurement above the value of S$50,000 should be carried out through competitive open tendering process, unless there are valid exceptions, e.g. national/security interest or in cases of extreme urgency.

For purchases above the value of S$50,000, the most common procurement method is through open tendering. The tenders are published electronically on the Government Electronic Business System (GeBIZ) website. Selective tendering may be carried out for complex projects. It usually involves two stages: the first, for pre-qualification of interested suppliers, based on the technical merits of the offer; and the second, where qualified suppliers are invited to tender. During the second stage, suppliers who did not qualify during the first stage are given an opportunity to do so. All the details concerning pre-qualification are also published on the GeBIZ website. Limited tendering is usually permitted when there has been no response to previous open or selective calls for tender; when there is only one supplier involved; to ensure compatibility with existing equipment; in cases of extreme urgency; and for the development of prototypes for research. The use of a limited tender must be approved by the Permanent Secretary or CEO of a government agency.

For administrative efficiency, all suppliers interested in participating in Singapore's government procurement programmes are required to register as government contractors under the appropriate supply and financial categories with: the Expenditure and Procurement Policies Unit (EPPU) for general goods and services; and with the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), for construction-related goods and services.

Although the Government maintains the principles of openness, non-discrimination, and value for money in its procurement activities, it has been pointed out that small and medium-sized enterprises "often fail to qualify for Government tenders because [Government] agencies are not prepared to try them out due to the lack of track record. As a result, there have been cases of SMEs being awarded contracts by MNCs [multinational corporations] but are unable to secure contracts from government agencies.

The Government Procurement Adjudication Tribunal was established in the Ministry of Finance in 1998. It was established under the Government Procurement Act to handle complaints of non-compliance with the Agreement on Government Procurement. It has not received any complaints to date.