A Corrupt Loan Doesn’t Pay
Managing Agents (“MA”) are engaged by the Management Corporation of a Strata Title development (“MCST”) to help with the day-to-day management and maintenance of the estate, which includes sourcing for and supervising the work of contractors. Officers of MAs who corruptly give unfair advantages to contractors will be dealt with under the law.
2. Two individuals have been sentenced for corruption offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) as follows:
a) Tan Yong Thai Calvan (“Calvan”), 陈永泰，a 45-year-old Singaporean male was convicted of an offence under section 6(a) of the PCA for corruptly accepting gratification, and was sentenced to a fine of $4,000 and a penalty of $800 on 7 July 2020. At the material time of the offence, he was a Property Officer of Landsfield Property Consultants Pte Ltd (“Landsfield”). His role included assisting to supervise the work of contractors and sourcing for quotations for works at Miltonia Residences, for which Landsfield was the MA.
b) Lee Boon Siong (“Lee”), 李文祥, a 38-year-old Singaporean male was convicted of an offence under section 6(b) of the PCA for corruptly giving gratification, and was sentenced to a fine of $4,000 on 7 September 2020. At the material time of the offence, he was the Director of L&L Solutions Pte Ltd (“L&L”) which was in the business of general maintenance works, including electrical installation and testing, waterproofing and painting.
3. Investigations by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) revealed that Calvan had obtained a loan of $800 from Lee sometime in January 2018, to finance his personal travel. Lee corruptly gave the loan, and Calvan corruptly accepted it, as an inducement for furthering the business interests of L&L with Landsfield. Calvan admitted that, as a result of the loan he accepted, he felt beholden to Lee to further the business interests of L&L with Landsfield. He tried to help Lee get jobs at Miltonia Residences through sharing commercially-sensitive information that would undermine the quotation process, and were contrary to the interests of Landsfield. This included information on budgets, as well as the identities of and prices quoted by other contractors for jobs. Accordingly, both Calvan and Lee were charged on 9 June 2020, and each subsequently pleaded guilty to and were convicted on one charge under the PCA. One other charge was taken into consideration in sentencing each of them.
4. Singapore adopts a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption. Any person who is convicted of a corruption offence under section 6 of the PCA can be fined up to $100,000 or sentenced to an imprisonment term of up to 5 years or to both.
5. The public and management councils of MCSTs should remain vigilant and report any suspected corruption offences to the CPIB or suspected cheating offences to the Police respectively. Feedback from MCSTs relating to the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act (BMSMA), should be reported to the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).
6. Companies are also strongly advised to put in place robust procedures in areas such as procurement and internal audit to reduce the incidence of corruption. Guidance for companies on measures to prevent corruption can be found in PACT: A Practical Anti-Corruption Guide for Businesses in Singapore, which is available on CPIB’s website. Companies are also strongly encouraged to obtain certification under the Singapore Standard (SS) ISO 37001 – Anti-Bribery Management Systems, which is designed to help companies implement or enhance an anti-bribery management system to reduce corporate risk and reputational costs.
Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau