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Singapore Budget 2014: Independent panel to review serious misconduct in Home Team

An independent panel will be set up by the end of the year to review cases of misconduct by Home Team officers after the individual departments have investigated, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean (pictured) on Thursday, March 6, 2014. -- ST F
An independent panel will be set up by the end of the year to review cases of misconduct by Home Team officers after the individual departments have investigated, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean (pictured) on Thursday, March 6, 2014. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

An independent panel will be set up by the end of the year to review cases of misconduct by Home Team officers after the individual departments have investigated, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on Thursday.

Mr Teo, who is also Home Affairs Minister, said the panel will review the findings of internal investigations into cases of serious alleged misconduct by an officer in his official capacity.

Examples include those which have resulted in death or serious injury and those which obstruct, prevent, pervert or defeat the course of justice.

The panel will also investigate cases where it is in the public interest to do so, said Mr Teo during the debate on his ministry's budget in Parliament.

Currently, individual Home Team agencies already have a system in place to investigate allegations of wrongdoing or misconduct by their officers. But the panel will strengthen this system, said Mr Teo.

The panel will report directly to the minister, and review whether the allegations are substantiated, and whether the investigations were thorough and carried out in a fair manner. Its members will comprise prominent members of the community, including people with deep legal knowledge and experience, and may also include former senior Home Team officers.

"The panel will ensure that there are independent, robust and fair processes in place to review allegations of misconduct by Home Team officers. And this will in turn foster greater public trust and confidence in the integrity of the Home Team," said Mr Teo.

"We will not tolerate wilful misconduct, abuse of power or a lack of integrity. This is not only fundamentally wrong at the individual level, but also tarnishes the Home Team's reputation."