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18 Aug 2019  (498 Views) 
Out of the box

How to control wasteful expenditure by bureaucracy
There was some consternation in social media about the $170 spent on a toilet tap in Woodlands Police Station. Why does the Police spend so much on a tap?  Click here.

I recalled that the Pentagon (defense department of USA) also had a bad reputation for excessive spending. I found this article. It spent $640 on a toilet seat.

We are catching up with America on the wasteful spending.

These are only the cases that came into the notice of the public. What about the countless cases that remain unreported?

I describe this kind of ridiculous spending as being caused by bureaucracy - the practice of following rules that defy common sense. It seems that if the bureaucrat follow the rule book, they do not have to account for ridiculous decisions.

What is the rule book?

It probably requires the purchasing officer to get three quotations and to award the contract to the vendor who provides the lowest quote. 

Surely, there must be a better way? How much does the purchasing officer pay for the tap or the toilet seat, if he has to source for a supplier and pay out of his own pocket?

Surely, if we adopt a practical approach, we can get a better decision?

How about - use your discretion and act responsibly?

Each purchase below a certain threshold should be approved by the supervisor and subject to audit to be compared against a database of acceptable market prices. Surely, there is a market price for a tap or a toilet seat?

A total variations less than $100 per day for each purchasing officer can be excused on the grounds of non materiality.

Do you have any other solution to overcome the waste from following the bureaucratic approach?

Tan Kin Lian 

Vote - do you agree with my approach?


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