Parliament Sitting on 6 October 2020

QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER


17. Mr Leon Perera:
To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) what is the final cost of the revamp of the National Archives building; and (b) what is the budget overrun referred to in the Report of the Auditor-General for FY2019/20 and its amount.

Answer:

Built in 1959, the National Archives of Singapore (NAS) building was gazetted for conservation in 2005. The revamp of the NAS building that started in 2017 is the first major one since NAS officially opened at its current site in 1998. The original budget was $37 million and included three categories of work: restoration and building construction works; digital infrastructure; and provision of equipment. The projected cost for the first category, i.e. restoration and building construction works, was $20.53 million. However, the final cost increased by $1.72 million to $22.25 million, after taking into account works to address unanticipated structural safety issues and site conditions. Despite the higher cost for restoration and building construction works, the National Library Board (NLB) kept within the overall budget of $37 million and did not require any additional funding for the project.

2. Notwithstanding this, NLB takes a serious view of the lapses identified by the AGO in its 2019/2020 financial year report.  NLB has since completed its internal review of the lapses and has further tightened its procurement and contract management processes.