Singapore

1 in 5 CPIB probes involve public officers

Published: 4:02 AM, July 25, 2013
Updated: 4:00 AM, July 26, 2013

SINGAPORE — On average, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) opened 39 cases involving public officers each year for investigation over the last five years — making up about one in five of all cases opened by the graft watchdog, according to a study commissioned by the Prime Minister’s Office. Among the investigations involving public officers, two-thirds led to prosecution or disciplinary proceedings.

More findings are expected to be made public by the end of the week, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said in a statement yesterday.

The study was initiated following a number of high-profile cases involving errant public officers. Conducted by the CPIB and Commercial Affairs Department, the study concluded that cases involving public officers “have remained low and quite stable over the last five years”, said Mr Teo.

He added: “As there have been a number of high-profile cases recently, the public is understandably concerned about whether this reflects systemic issues in the Public Service. The service itself is concerned about this. Earlier this year, the Prime Minister’s Office asked the Commercial Affairs Department and CPIB to conduct a study of public officers investigated by them for corruption and other financial crimes over the last five years to see whether there was any change in their number or profile.”

Mr Teo, who is also the Minister in charge of the Civil Service, stressed that “keeping the numbers low requires constant effort and vigilance”.

He noted that “many cases were reported either by the public, or by officers in the Public Service”.

“This suggests a strong culture in Singapore and in the Public Service which rejects corruption,” said Mr Teo, who added that he has tasked Head of the Civil Service Peter Ong to share the study’s findings with his officers and to make the key findings public.