Clean image of Singapore gets thumbs up as corruption cases hit ‘all-time low’

The clean image of Singapore has got a major boost as the number of corruption cases registered for investigation in the Republic fell to an ‘all time low’ last year of 103, down from 118 the year before, revealed the statistics of Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) today.

Singapore has maintained its first-place in the 2017 Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) annual survey on corruption.
Singapore has maintained its first-place in the 2017 Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) annual survey on corruption. Photo: Connected to India

“Singapore is well known for its clean and incorrupt system. The Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2017 has ranked Singapore as the sixth least corrupt country in the world. Singapore has also maintained its first-place in the 2017 Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) annual survey on corruption,” said CPIB in a press release.

As far as the statistics are concerned, CPIB received a total of 778 complaints in 2017, a 3.7 per cent drop from the 808 complaints received in 2016. All corruption complaints received by the CPIB are evaluated by the Complaints Evaluation Committee (CEC) and a case is registered for investigation if the information received is pursuable.

Number of complaints received by CPIB vs cases registered for investigation.
Number of complaints received by CPIB vs cases registered for investigation. Photo courtesy: CPIB

CIPB received two types of complaints- corruption-related and non-corruption related. For the past three years, about half the complaints received by the Board were corruption-related. In 2017, there was a drop of 17.7 per cent in the number of corruption related complaints to 368, from 447 in 2016.

Corruption and non-corruption related complaints Received by CPIB.
Corruption and non-corruption related complaints Received by CPIB. Photo courtesy: CPIB

“The quality and amount of relevant information of the corruption complaint received determine whether the case can be pursued. The majority of non-pursuable corruption complaints were due to insufficient, vague or unsubstantiated,” said CPIB.                                                            

People preferred the e-complaint module in 2017 as majority of complaints were made to CPIB using this system. Feedback via this channel increased 8 per cent from 34 per cent in 2016, when most complaints were received by mail or fax.

However, the complaints lodged in person remained the “most effective as the CPIB could obtain more detailed information from the complainants”; these accounted for 23 per cent of the cases registered for investigation. 

The Board always take serious view of all complaints with undertone of corruption and strongly encouraged the public to report any suspected acts. It also offered a guide on the kind of information one should include in a corruption complaint: 

Where, when and how did the alleged corrupt act happen?

Who was involved and what were their roles?

How did you know about it?

Why do you think it is a corruption offence?

What is the bribe transacted or favour shown?

Have you reported the matter to anyone else or/and any other authorities?

Majority of corruption cases in Singapore occur in private sector but number remains low

In 2017, private sector cases continued to form the majority (92 per cent) of all the cases registered for investigation by the CPIB although the number remained low. Of the private sector cases, 10 per cent involved public sector employees rejecting bribes offered by private individuals. The proportion of public sector cases remained low, accounting for 8 per cent of all cases registered for investigation in 2017, as compared to 15 per cent in 2016.  

Breakdown of the cases registered for investigation by private vs public sector.
Breakdown of the cases registered for investigation by private vs public sector. Photo courtesy: CPIB

As far as prosecution of individuals in court is concerned, CPIB said majority were from the private sector. In 2017, 141 individuals were charged in court for offences investigated by the CPIB, of which 94 per cent were private sector employees. The number of private sector individuals prosecuted increased by 32 per cent to 132, as compared to 100 in 2016.

CPIB also highlighted three areas that "continued to be of concern" - construction, wholesale and retail businesses, and warehousing, transport and logistics services - singling out high-profile cases such as the Keppel Offshore and Marine (KOM) overseas bribery.

Speaking about this case, CPIB said, “The KOM case highlights that while corruption in Singapore remains low, there is a need for constant vigilance and a firm stance against corrupt practices that extends beyond Singapore’s shores.”

To make Singapore corruption-free, members of the public can report suspected acts of corruption via the following channels:

Visit or write to the CPIB Headquarters @ 2 Lengkok Bahru, S159047 or Corruption Reporting & Heritage Centre @ 247 Whitley Road S297830;

Call the Duty Officer at 1800-376-0000;

Lodge an e-Complaint at www.cpib.gov.sg;

Email us at cpib_website_email@cpib.gov.sg; or

Fax  at 6270 0320.

Author
CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

Singapore-headquartered online media company targeting Indian Diaspora across Singapore, US, UK and Dubai. Connected to India covers developments around Indians abroad, informing, engaging and entertaining its audiences.

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