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Anti-Corruption Policy

Singapore's anti-corruption framework relies on a strong culture of public accountability underpinned by an elaborate set of checks and balances, the rule of law which includes strong and effective laws, a legislative that openly debates issues on defence and security, an independent judiciary, and vigorous enforcement. The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) is Singapore's independent anti-corruption agency that spearheads anti-corruption efforts. It has the mandate to investigate, without fear or favour, all corruption offences as well as other criminal cases in which corruption may be involved, in both the public and private sectors. The CPIB is an independent law enforcement agency that reports directly to the Prime Minister's Office. Members of the public can register corruption-related complaints with CPIB. For more details, please visit the CPIB website.

Apart from strong enforcement against corruption by CPIB, MINDEF/SAF's anti-corruption framework replies on our strong culture of public accountability, openness in sharing our defence policy, and sense of duty. We hold our people to the highest standards of integrity and expect that they conduct themselves in a manner becoming of the public service - one that represents our values of integrity, service and excellence. MINDEF/SAF personnel are also trained to understand what comprises corruption. There are also internal directives and codes of conduct which stipulate guidelines, mandatory declarations and punitive actions that must be taken where there are violations

Active Public Debate on Issues of Defence

Singapore's defence policy is undergirded by the twin pillars of deterrence and diplomacy. Updates on our defence policy, priorities and areas for defence investment are presented and debated publicly, whether at the annual Committee of Supply debates, in Parliament, through ad-hoc Ministerial Statements on issues of grave public concern, or in our Political Office Holders' engagements of forums like the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD).

MINDEF/SAF's Anti-Corruption Measures

MINDEF/SAF adopts a zero tolerance policy towards bribery and corruption when it comes to our personnel and has a multi-pronged approach to mitigate such risks. All MINDEF/SAF pesonnel have to go through a rigorous personnel security programme which includes a stringent process of security vetting every few years, on top of the requirement to make annual and ad hoc declarations of assets and financial positions. MINDEF/SAF also has in place an array of compliance regulations to mitigate corruption risks, similar to those in the private sector including  periodic job rotation, compliance leave, regular internal and external audits of MINDEF/SAF departments at all levels of management, as well as reviews of financial procedures and anti-corruption measures.

Anti-Corruption Awareness and Training

MINDEF/SAF is cognisant that our people have to be aware of and trained in recognising and addressing corruption, in order for our anti-corruption framework to succeed. Hence, MINDEF/SAF organises seminars on various aspects of professional ethics audits, corruption, and personnel vetting in the compulsory introductory level courses that all SAF and civilian officers must go through. [1] Aids to help MINDEF/SAF personnel to understand financial policies and procurement procedures better are also disseminated. [2] There are also internal general orders and directives which hold all military and civilian personnel within MINDEF/SAF accountable for adhering to detailed guidelines on the relationship between service personnel and MINDEF/SAF contractors, solicitation by service personnel from contractors, as well as the acceptance of gifts, hospitality and invitations from the public, other agencies as well as foreign Governments, and on anti-corruption measures.

Whistle-Blowing Policy

We expect MINDEF/SAF personnel to speak up and report on cases of corruption. They can seek redress on such matters through a wide range of channels, including the chain of command, which includes the Armed Forces Council (chaired by the Minister for Defence), the MINDEF/SAF Feedback Unit, and the SAF Counselling Centre. Complaints and allegations will be thoroughly investigated by the Military Police Command.

Heavy Penalties for Corrupt Practices

To safeguard public accountability and assure the public that all cases of bribery are thoroughly investigated by an independent body outside of MINDEF/SAF, all suspected cases of bribery or corruption are referred to the CPIB for investigation and follow-up actions. Servicemen who have been convicted of bribery or corruption will be discharged from service in addition to facing punishment meted out by the courts.

MINDEF/SAF's Commitment to Anti-Corruption

MINDEF is committed to upholding Singapore's reputation as a country that is clean, honest and trustworthy, and one which emphasises the highest levels of integrity and incorruptibility.

[1] As a norm, MINDEF Officers attend at least one  of the following talk/seminar/course per year:  (a) Internal Audit Department's (IAD) talks on professional ethics and corruption-related topics for service personnel and (b) modules conducted by IAD at various military courses such as, Defence Senior Managers Programme, Logistics Finance Officers Course,  and other  modules at military courses such as Professional Military Education and Training (PMET) course targeted at Junior Military Officers and Finance Foundation Course organised by Civil Service College.

[2] These aids include infographics to explain financial policy rationale and applications, and an online portal where finance practitioners can access training materials and share best practices amongst themselves. These aids also promote greater finance procedure awareness and allow officers to avoid lapses and tighten system integrity as a whole.