Some wonder if NParks could have got better deal

The National Parks Board (NParks) bought 26 foldable Brompton bicycles for its officers to use on patrols earlier this year.

The purchase was first reported in Lianhe Zaobao on June 22, which also wrote about it in a commentary on June 24.

Some people then asked if the chosen bikes - which cost $2,200 each - were too expensive.

The purchase attracted much attention in online forums.

Some pointed out that BikeHop - the company NParks bought the bikes from - is not the authorised distributor of Brompton bikes in Singapore. The official dealer is Diginexx.

Others wondered if NParks could have found a better deal if it had looked harder.

But NParks said it adhered to government procurement requirements when buying the bicycles.

Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan said in a blog post earlier this month that while he has no quarrel with the choice of the bikes for NParks' staff, the stat board may have secured a better price if there had been more participation in the bikedeal.

He said: "I have asked MND (Ministry of National Development) staff to discuss this case with our agencies, to see if there are lessons which we can draw from this case.

"In all purchases we should always satisfy the criteria of 'value for money' when public funds areinvolved."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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