CPIB director to be replaced over supervisory lapse

CEO of the WDA Wong Hong Kuan will replace Eric Tan as director of the CPIB when Tan's term ends. (Photo Courtesy of WDA)

Following a recent high-profile case at the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), where an assistant director was charged with taking some $1.7 million in public funds over a few years, the director of the CPIB will be replaced. In a statement, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) announced that the chief executive of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency, Wong Hong Kuan, will replace Eric Tan as director of the CPIB when Tan's term ends on 30 September.

Here is the PMO's statement in full:

An Independent Review Panel (IRP) reported that supervisory lapses in CPIB had resulted in deficiencies in financial controls and the loss of public funds. These in turn led to criminal charges against Mr Edwin Yeo, Assistant Director CPIB, which are currently before the Court. This statement does not touch on Mr Yeo’s innocence or guilt in respect of these charges.

These supervisory lapses occurred during the terms of two Directors of CPIB: Mr Soh Kee Hean (until Sep 2010) and the current Director Mr Eric Tan. Both Directors had supervisory and command responsibilities over Mr Edwin Yeo and his unit in CPIB. Both Directors have been issued formal letters of warning for their lapses, and have accepted responsibility for them.

To maintain public trust and confidence in CPIB and to fully implement the Review Panel’s recommendations, the Prime Minister has decided that Mr Wong Hong Kuan, currently the Chief Executive of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency, will succeed Mr Eric Tan as Director CPIB when Mr Tan’s term ends on 30 September 2013.

The President has concurred with the appointment of Mr Wong Hong Kuan, acting in his discretion under Article 22(1) of the Constitution. Mr Wong Hong Kuan will be posted to CPIB with effect from 1 September 2013 as Director Designate. Mr Eric Tan will work with Mr Wong Hong Kuan in the Bureau to ensure a smooth and seamless handover.

Despite this supervisory lapse, Mr Eric Tan has made many contributions to CPIB, strengthening the organisation and handling major corruption cases. He will be redeployed to other duties where his knowledge and experience will be valuable.

Related stories:

Senior CPIB officer charged with stealing S$1.76 million from anti-graft agency
DPM Teo: Latest high profile CPIB case 'particularly serious'
CPIB to restrict officers' visits to casino: PSD