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And leave Truth as the Casualty

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Awarding a contract to the lowest bidder doesn't always pay off. There are many areas to consider other than price but despite all the past problems, the government agencies in Singapore seemed still very much incline to do such things, risk tarnishing reputations and worse, causing hurt and death to the public.

“How many lies must we tell?
How many lies must we see?
How many times must we say it’s for the best?
And leave truth as the casualty?” – Spandua Ballet


In this latest saga that involved human lives, the contract will awarded to the lowest bidder.  I am not very sure what goes into the construction of viaducts but I supposed those involved would have done their due diligence and know the estimated amount required to do a decent job. But I guess now.

In a less “life threatening” government tender awarded recently, it was for a website related job with very specific and meticulous requirement stated up front. I am sure the person or the team heading this tender must be very knowledgeable (at least they know what they are looking for) and thus would know what is considered a reasonable and competitive price.

To cut a long story short, the tender was awarded to the second lowest bidder at 8.9k. The lowest bid was just one hundred short. Out of the 9 respondents,  the average bid was around 23k with the highest at 48.6k.

It’s not rocket science, really. Even if you are not an expert in this area, one would be cautious to reject those ridiculously low bids. No. Not these people.

There are two possible end results from this bid:

1. The government agency will not get what they want, their website will be plagued by issues, complains will ensue, the agency will be the joke of the town and some heads will roll.

2. If the awarded company is a dignified one, they will be forced to work their ass off to fulfil what they have committed to, leaving them with no margin at best and making a huge lose at worst. Either ways, the company won’t be around for too long as it is just not sustainable.

Now, I ask, should we be taking the cue from the Singapore government to adopt an exploitative approach at the expense of quality and other businesses? If so, are we back to being a third world country?? The last time I checked, we are still very much a first world country but with our government leading by these examples, I don’t know how long can we hold up before things start giving way.

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