Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau
|Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau|
|Preceding Agency||Anti-Corruption Branch of Singapore Police Force|
|Jurisdiction||Government of Singapore|
|Headquarters||2 Lengkok Bahru, Singapore 159047|
|Agency executive||Eric Tan Chong Sian, Director|
|Parent agency||Prime Minister's Office|
Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (Abbreviation: CPIB; Chinese: 贪污调查局; Malay: Biro Siasatan Pencegahan Rasuah) is a government agency in Singapore which investigates and prosecutes corruption in the public and private sectors. It was established by the British colonial government in 1952 and sited in the Attorney-General's Chambers. When Singapore attained self-government in 1959, the nation's first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew moved it to the Prime Minister's Office.
Although the primary function is to investigate corruption, it is empowered to investigate other criminal cases in which corruption may be involved.
Incorporated within the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), the Bureau is headed by a director who reports directly to the Prime Minister. CPIB is therefore independent from the Singapore Police Force and other government agencies to prevent any undue interference in its investigations.
It also has the utmost right, similar to the Singapore's Internal Security Department, to detain suspects of corrupt practices without legal proceedings.
Anti-corruption law in Singapore
The Prevention of Corruption Act provides extensive powers to CPIB in the investigation of corruption, including:
- The power to investigate not just the suspect, but also the suspect's family or agents and to examine their financial and other records.
- The power to require the attendance of witnesses for interview.
- The power to investigate any other seizable offence which is disclosed in the course of a corruption investigation.
Investigations carried out by the CPIB are habitually completed efficiently and with limited public exposure. High profile probes are rare. However, in January 2012, it emerged that two senior civil servants were arrested under graft charges. Former head of the Singapore Civil Defence Force, Peter Lim Sin Pang, was arrested on 19 December 2011, while Central Narcotics Bureau chief, Ng Boon Gay, was taken in for questioning on 4 January 2012. Both men were arrested in connection with the Prevention of Corruption Act relating to an IT contract, although the CPIB has refused to comment on the matter.
In late January 2012, it was announced that both men are also facing disciplinary action by the Public Service Commission, which oversees the conduct of civil servants. They have already been interdicted, a step only taken when an individual “faces serious offences for which 'criminal proceedings or proceedings for his dismissal or reduction in rank are being contemplated'.” The case has provoked comment from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong who has promised that if the men are guilty of any kind of misconduct, they will be punished.
The CPIB’s silence on this investigation came under the scrutiny of a number of MPs during a parliamentary sitting in February 2012. However, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, Teo Chee Hean defended the CPIB, stating that any announcement on the outcome of the probe would have been premature and may have compromised the investigation. He also assured concerned MPs that all the findings of the investigation would be publicly reported once they had been finalised.
In July 2013, the Prime Minister's Office disclosed that CPIB opened 39 cases involving public officers each year for investigation over the last five years — making up about one in five of all cases handled. Among the investigations involving public officers, two-thirds led to prosecution or disciplinary action.
- "CORRUPT PRACTICES INVESTIGATION BUREAU". Singapore Government Directory Interactive. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
- Cap. Prevention of Corruption Act
- Leonard Lim (26 January 2012). "CPIB: Top men were arrested, being probed for graft". Straits Times.
- "Woman in centre of CPIB probe leads double life". AsiaOne. 28 January 2012.
- Toh Yong Chuan (28 January 2012). "CPIB probe: Duo facing civil service disciplinary proceedings as well". Straits Times.
- Chua Lee Hoong (28 January 2012). "Govt will follow through on CPIB probe into 2 top men: PM Lee". Straits Times.
- AsiaOne (14 February 2012). "Premature announcement would have compromised CPIB investigations: DPM Teo". AsiaOne.
- 1 in 5 CPIB Probes Involved Public Servants Today, 25 July 2013
- Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau - Official website.