Man jailed for accessing police computer system to amend records exempting him from IPPT

SINGAPORE - A civilian officer attached to Clementi Police Division headquarters accessed a computer system at his workplace and made an unauthorised change to his records to show that he was permanently exempted from performing the Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT).

Labin Ismail, 27, who did his national service in the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and resigned from his civilian post in July last year, was sentenced on Friday (Jan 25) to two weeks' jail. He pleaded guilty on Jan 17 to an offence under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act.

The court heard that he had also made a similar unauthorised change to the records of another man without the latter's knowledge.

Labin told the court that he did so as the man had suicidal tendencies.

Labin's second charge under the same Act involving the man was considered during sentencing.

Labin, who joined SPF in 2013 as a civilian officer, was given access to the National Service Personnel Administration and Management (NSPAM) system as part of his job.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ryan Lim told the court that NSPAM is a platform used to access and maintain records of national servicemen under the SPF.

The DPP added that Labin was authorised to use the system for attendance taking and tracking overseas notifications, among other tasks.

He later discovered that he was able to amend an individual's IPPT status in the system but he knew he was not authorised to exempt national servicemen from the test.

DPP Lim said: "On Jan 9, 2015, the accused amended his own IPPT status in NSPAM. He accessed his own records, and modified those records by ticking the checkbox for 'IPPT Excused', and adding the words 'Excused IPPT' in the remarks text box. His NSPAM record thus showed that he was exempted from IPPT permanently."

He made a similar change to the other man's records in March 2016.

The DPP said Labin's offences were discovered only in January last year when the man told the authorities that he was unable to book his IPPT.

Internal investigations revealed that Labin had made the unauthorised changes.

On Friday, District Judge Marvin Bay said: "The offence was thus committed against a public institution by the very person entrusted with the maintenance of these records."

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, police said SPF personnel, including civilian officers, are expected to uphold the law and maintain the highest standards of conduct and integrity.

The police spokesman added: "We will deal severely with officers who break the law, including charging them in court."