Saturday, 14 February 2015

MPs debate "Lapses in Governance And Compliance"

Official audit finds 'major lapses' in Workers' Party town council books

THE Auditor-General's Office (AGO) has found several major lapses in the governance of the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) run by the opposition Workers' Party (WP).

The AGO concluded in a report released on Monday: "Until the weaknesses are addressed, there can be no assurance that AHPETC's accounts are accurate and reliable, or that public funds are being properly spent, accounted for and managed."

Observers told The Business Times that the "damning" findings will inevitably create a dent in the public's confidence in the WP, and urged the government to strengthen its powers for regulatory oversight. Several of these commentators described the existing Town Councils Act as "toothless".

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Audit of Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council

Summary of Key Observations by the Auditor-General’s Office
  1. Lapses in Management of Sinking Funds
  2. Lapses in Governance of Related Party Transactions
  3. Lapses in Management of Arrears of Conservancy and Service Charges
  4. Lapses in Internal Controls and Procurement
  5. Inadequacies in Record Management and Accounting System
related: 5 lapses flagged in Workers' Party's AHPETC accounts

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Motion for town councils to uphold high standards passed in Parliament

A motion calling on all town councils to uphold high accounting, reporting and governing standards was passed by all 85 members who were in the Parliament Chambers on Friday (Feb 13).

It "supports strengthening the legislative framework for town councils, in order to hold those responsible for their good management to proper account" and also called on Parliament to "note with concern" the findings by the Auditor-General on the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council's (AHPETC) accounts.

The motion was unanimously passed after MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC Liang Eng Hwa had called for a division. Those who passed the motion include Nominated Members of Parliament and all the MPs from the Workers' Party (WP).

related:
S&CC grants to AHPETC withheld until issues fixed: Khaw
AHPETC saga an issue of trust: Heng Swee Keat
Live in Parliament: Motion passed on AHPETC accounts
No staff member of managing agent privy to tender process: Pritam Singh
Long back-and-forth between WP Chief, Heng Swee Keat on AHPETC funds
Town council should use centralised computer system: Png Eng Huat
WP should take legal steps to recover losses and damages: Hri Kumar
AHPETC saga an issue of trust: Heng Swee Keat
Long back-and-forth between WP Chief, Heng Swee Keat on AHPETC funds
Town council should use centralised computer system: Png Eng Huat
Process of transition for Town Councils should be depoliticised: Low Thia Khiang


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Public monies have been lost, minister charges


Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council’s (AHPETC) transactions with its managing agent and a vendor, which its senior staff have stakes in, are “unlawful” and the Workers’ Party (WP) Members of Parliament (MPs) have seriously breached their fiduciary duties in allowing the arrangement, charged Law and Foreign Minister K Shanmugam yesterday.

The minister made these points at the end of a nearly four-hour debate on the motion raised on the Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) findings on the town council, which was kicked off with National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan flagging the implications that the WP’s less-than-stellar running of the AHPETC would have for residents.

The AGO’s findings, made public on Monday, highlighted five major lapses, but Mr Shanmugam dedicated his entire speech yesterday to only one of them: Related party transactions the town council was involved in.

related: S&CC grants to AHPETC withheld until issues fixed: Khaw

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'Public funds given to WP's friends'
OVERPAID FEES: Mr Shanmugam said there has been a loss of public money due to AHPETC's "overpayment" to its managing agent, FMSS

Alleging that the Workers' Party (WP) overpaid a managing agent run by its supporters, Law Minister K. Shanmugam said in Parliament yesterday that the WP was giving residents' money to its "friends".

In a 45-minute speech hitting out at the opposition-run Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC), Mr Shanmugam said: "The rhetoric from the WP is always about helping the poor man. The reality is that WP took money from the man in the street and gave it to FMSS, to their friends."

He was taking issue with the fees which management agent FM Solutions and Services (FMSS) charges AHPETC.

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Shanmugam takes WP leaders to task over ‘breach of duties’

Law and Foreign Minister K Shanmugam took four Workers’ Party town councillors to task individually yesterday over whether and when they knew about four AHPETC employees’ stakes in two vendor companies, as well as why they had approved the payment mode in these transactions. Here are excerpts of what he said to each of them:

To Mr Pritam Singh - You make fierce speeches about transparency ... You have been anything but transparent and accountable. There is a thread all right, but it weaves and leaves a tangled web.

To Mr Chen Show Mao - As a lawyer, you will know every town councillor owes fiduciary duties. It will be a gross breach of those fiduciary duties to have allowed Loh, Ms How and Yeo to act as they did and rubber-stamped what they did. You will be aware that such conduct is unlawful ... So the question is: What did you know and when did you know?

To Ms Sylvia Lim - You must (have) known that such conduct would be in serious breach of your legal, fiduciary duties; that it will be unlawful to do so. Yet you allowed this.

To Mr Low Thia Khiang - Loh and Ms How were your friends. They got the contracts because they were your friends. What is your role and responsibility, Mr Low? You allowed all of this to happen? As secretary-general of the WP, will you take responsibility? What should be done now?

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Parliament: Shanmugam says WP took money from man in the street and gave it to their friend

"The rhetoric from the WP is always about helping the poor man. The reality is that WP took money from the man in the street and gave it to FMSS, to their friends," said Law Minister K Shanmugam in Parliament on Thursday.

Mr Shanmugam distributed a table that compared managing agent rates island-wide, showing that from July 2013 to July 2014, FM Solutions & Services (FMSS) charged both residential and commercial units almost twice the amounts other town councils charged.

He added that the calculated difference in annual payment is $1.6 million, which adds up to $6.4 million over four years.

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AGO’s audit findings raise four issues, says Shanmugam
  1. AHPETC’s payments to FMSS and FMSI, which are owned by three town council staff, were “unlawful”. The town councillors were “in breach of their legal, fiduciary duties” by allowing the three employees to both bill and approve payments to themselves.
  2. These payments were done “without transparency or accountability” because the ownership of FMSS and FMSI was not disclosed to all town councillors. These related party transactions were also not fully reflected in the AHPETC’s financial statements, in breach of financial reporting standards. There was also no discussion of “serious” conflicts of interests arising from the payment process involving FMSS.
  3. AHPETC suffered a loss because of overcharging by FMSS, its managing agent. The difference, on an annual basis, between what the AHPETC paid FMSS, and what other town councils pay their managing agents, is about S$1.6 million each.
  4. What did each of the town councillors know about these payments to FMSS and FMSI? What role did each play in paying monies to these related parties?
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WP retorts lead to spirited exchange with minister

A spirited exchange took place after Law Minister K Shanmugam delivered his speech in Parliament yesterday, with Workers’ Party (WP) chairman Sylvia Lim saying she “utterly” rejected his assertions of “unlawful conduct” and the minister firing back by saying “talk is cheap”.

It was premature for Mr Shanmugam to accuse the WP of not giving answers, as some WP Members of Parliament (MPs) have yet to speak, said Ms Lim, who is also chairman of Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC), which came under fire by the Auditor-General for its governance lapses documented in a report released on Monday.

Mr Shanmugam, who rose to speak after National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan tabled a motion on the Auditor-General’s report, had charged that the managing agent (MA) fees paid to FM Solutions and Services (FMSS) were inflated compared with the fees other town councils paid to their MAs, with the difference amounting to S$1.6 million each year.

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Khaw demands Workers’ Party deal with FMSS ‘crooks’ for 'monumental incompetence'
Drawing on the Chinese idiom 混水摸鱼, Khaw said: “Where the water is murky, it’s easier to fish. Opacity creates opportunity for crooks to make money.”

Singapore’s Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan on Friday asked the oppositionWorkers’ Party (WP) to take “real, sincere” action in the face of its alleged mismanagement of theAljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC).

After two days of fiery, sometimes dramatic exchanges in Parliament, all 85 members present in the house unanimously passed a motion criticising the WP’s running of the AHPETC, which arose from the Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) findings of lapses in the town council’s financial accounts.

But not before Khaw wrapped up the debate with a stinging assessment of the WP and the AHPETC’s managing agent, FM Solutions and Services (FMSS). Khaw said he expects WP secretary-general Low Thia Khiang “to take action against FMSS for monumental incompetence”.

related:
Debate on AHPETC in Parliament Part 2: The even more dramatic things people said
Debate on AHPETC in Parliament: The dramatic things people said
Fire crackers and poppers in Parliament




WP arrogant over lapses instead of being remorseful, says Khaw
Minister urges Workers' Party to recognise gravity of town council's situation

Throughout the two-day debate on the audit findings on Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC), the Workers’ Party (WP) has been in denial and has shown no remorse for the lapses that were uncovered, charged National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

Instead of acknowledging the mess they are in, he said they chose to play the victim and recycle their objections to the troubling audit findings in the House, even though these had been rebutted explicitly by the Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) report, which was at the centre of the parliamentary debate over the past two days.

“This consistent pattern of evasive behaviour gives us cause to doubt the sincerity of the AHPETC Members of Parliament (MPs) when they come to this House to declare their support for the motion and assure that they will make necessary changes,” said Mr Khaw. “I am a forgiving man and I listened very carefully to their speeches, hoping to find some dose of sincerity and genuine remorse. Sadly, I found none.”

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S&CC grants to AHPETC withheld until issues fixed: Khaw

Calling the current state of affairs “clearly unacceptable”, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan yesterday said his ministry has withheld this financial year’s Service & Conservancy Charges (S&CC) grant allocated to the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) until it fixes the weaknesses and problems listed in the Auditor-General’s Office’s (AGO’s) report.

The move is one of three steps the Ministry of National Development (MND) is taking to remedy the problems at the AHPETC flagged by the AGO after a year-long audit of the town council.

The MND will also strengthen the Town Councils Act and set deadlines for AHPETC to submit its financial reports for FY2013 and FY2014.

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Khaw: Town council’s lapses ‘affect residents’ interests, safety’

Lacking in transparency, appointing a related party as its managing agent and failing to promptly deal with problems — such was the pattern of behaviour on the part of Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC), and this has implications on residents’ interests and safety, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan yesterday.

Kicking off a motion in Parliament to address the issues raised by the Auditor-General’s report on AHPETC’s finances and management, Mr Khaw noted that this was the first time the Auditor-General had undertaken a special audit on a town council to look into concerns about its financial circumstances.

Questions on how AHPETC is spending its funds which include grants from the Ministry of National Development directly affect the interests and safety of the constituencies’ residents. “They are not trivial technical issues raised merely to satisfy the accountants and auditors or meet financial regulations,” Mr Khaw said. “Unfortunately, the observations in AHPETC auditor’s report have raised serious questions about the reliability and accuracy of its financial and accounting systems.”

related: The people behind FM Solutions and services

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Parliament: Singapore to amend Town Councils Act
THE government will amend the Town Councils Act to address the weaknesses in the current regulatory framework, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan in Parliament on Thursday. PHOTO: SPH

THE government will amend the Town Councils Act to address the weaknesses in the current regulatory framework, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan in Parliament on Thursday.

This will ensure that the town councillors, including the elected MPs, carry out their duties properly. If they don't, he added, a proper system of enforcement and penalties will be instituted.

Mr Khaw was speaking during a motion to "note with concern" the recent findings from the Auditor-General's Report on the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council's financial accounts.

related:
Observers call for Town Councils Act to have more bite 
Parliament to discuss strengthening of Town Councils Act on Feb 12 

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Parliament: Khaw chides AHPETC’s behaviour, MND to take action

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan today (Feb 12) rebuked the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC), saying its behaviour is “unacceptable”.

He was speaking in Parliament on the Auditor-General’s audit on the town council, which had flagged several major lapses in “governance and compliance”. The report is “a sad commentary on the state of affairs at AHPETC, he said, adding that the MND will take action.

POOR PATTERN OF BEHAVIOUR - Mr Khaw said the AHPETC exercised a lack of transparency, and failed to disclose things on time or submit required reports, adding that they “came up with yet another excuse”, when the ministry gave them reminders. Financial reports aside, he said the town council’s FY2013 cyclical maintenance works report - which informs MND of any delays in replacing major infrastructure - was also late for more than six months and was incomplete and inaccurate, he said.

related: Low Thia Khiang calls for depoliticisation of town council management

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WP has betrayed the trust of residents of Aljunied, Hougang and Punggol East, says Heng
Parliament on Friday unanimously adopted a motion endorsing the Auditor-General's findings of lapses at the Workers' Party-run Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC). During the parliamentary debate on the motion on Friday,  Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said the motion boils down to one word: Trust. We reproduce the full text of his speech in Parliament below

Madam Speaker, I rise to speak because I’m concerned about the well-being and interests of the residents of Aljunied, Hougang and Punggol East. I’m concerned about their lives and their homes.

They have been short-changed by their MPs, and they have been kept in the dark. I am concerned about the well-being and interests of all Singaporeans. Elected MPs are expected to be clean, honest and to act with integrity.

This Motion boils down to one word: Trust.

related:
WP has betrayed trust of residents of Aljunied, Hougang and Punggol East, says Heng
Take politics out of town council transfers: WP's Low
AHPETC designed to take money from residents & enrich friends, says Shanmugam
A sad commentary on state of affairs in town council: Khaw Boon Wan


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AHPETC debate in Parliament not about partisan politics: Heng Swee Keat


The Parliamentary debate over the lapses committed by Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) is “not about partisan politics”, said Education Minister Heng Swee Keat. Instead, it is about serving the interests of residents well.

“So what we have done is to point out factually what had happened in all the lapses and all the areas in which the elected members of the town council had failed,” he said, speaking at the sidelines of a community event today (Feb 14).

“What has been troubling is the pattern of denial and the pattern of deflection of these very serious lapses. And therefore, it was necessary to have this debate in Parliament. So it is not about partisan politics.

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Workers' Party town council episode shows need to strengthen laws: Heng Swee Keat

The episode with the Workers' Party (WP) town council shows the need to strengthen the governance of town councils, said Education Minister Heng Swee Keat on Saturday

His comments come a day after Parliament unanimously endorsed the Auditor-General's Office (AGO) findings of serious lapses at the opposition-run town council and called for stiffening the law regulating town councils.

"We need to ensure that the interests of residents are well served and that there is sufficient safeguards for the use of public funds," he said at the sidelines of a community event.

He added that details about how the Town Council Act will be amended will be revealed later

related:

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Heng Swee Keat’s allegations – wild claims or fact?
In Parliament on Friday, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat joined in the attacks on the Workers’ Party (WP) over the management of the WP town council, AHPETC

In particular, Mr Heng claimed how WP non-constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP), Yee Jenn Jong, and “a group of party supporters” had “walked away quickly” when the resident allegedly asked the WP “group” about the town council issue.
“But he didn’t answer and walked away quickly,” Mr Heng told the House. “So is this the answer Mr Singh (and) the WP promised to residents? A WP CEC (central executive council) member and his activists meet residents, and they evade the question?”
Mr Heng continued:
“Won’t answer auditors. Won’t answer Parliament. Won’t answer residents. Who is left in Singapore that the WP think is worthy of an answer?”
It is rather strange to claim the WP was not answering to everyone or anyone.

related: WP NCMP says he did not evade questions about town council

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Town Councils should be managed by third-party entity: NSP

The National Solidarity Party (NSP) on Tuesday (Feb 17) called on the Government to consider allowing Town Councils to be managed by a statutory board or a centralised agency, following the recent debate in Parliament on how the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) was managed by the Workers' Party (WP).

WP chief Low Thia Khiang said in Parliament last week that the process of transition for Town Councils should be depoliticised, following the Auditor-General's report on AHPETC. He also called upon the Government to protect residents' interests during the transition from one party to another.


NSP said in its press release that by having a third-party to manage the Town Council, residents can enjoy continuity in who manages the town should there be changes in town councillors, and lower service and conservancy charges (S&CC) from economies of scale.

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PAP 'cannot go easy on WP even if there is political price'


PEOPLE'S Action Party (PAP) MPs said yesterday they cannot go easy on the Workers' Party (WP), even if it means paying a political price.

Instead, it was more important to ensure that residents are not short-changed.

This came after Mr Liang Eng Hwa (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC) and Mr Hri Kumar Nair (Bishan- Toa Payoh GRC) received feedback that the PAP's harsh criticism of the WP over the Auditor- General's Office (AGO) audit report on the Aljunied-Hougang- Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) could backfire.

related:
WP told it must act to recover public funds
MPs endorse motion on Auditor-General's findings of lapses at AHPETC
WP has betrayed the trust of residents of Aljunied,Hougang & Punggol E, says Heng
MPs unanimously endorse motion on Auditor-General's audit of WP-run AHPETC
Josephine Teo and Png Eng Huat clash over AGO audits of government entities
The Debate in 2 minutes
A sad commentary on state of affairs in town council: Khaw
Shanmugam: AHPETC setup designed to let friends benefit
Public's interests must come first
'Give answers to Parliament, not just residents'
5 lapses: Poor monitoring of service conservancy charges at WP-run town council
5 lapses: Lack of governance over transactions at Workers' Party town council
Many hats for two Workers' Party supporters raises potential conflicts of interest
Timeline of Workers' Party town council saga
Audit of Workers' Party-run town council flags major lapses


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The politics of accountability

THE fracas over the Workers' Party's (WP) problematic accounting of town council funds highlights Singapore's uneasy transition to greater political diversity ("WP told it must act to recover public funds"; last Saturday).

Opposition supporters regard the WP's increased presence in Parliament as a sign of greater democracy, or part of a system of increased checks and balances on the ruling party.

They also think that this presence would enhance governmental transparency.

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Residents' trust was 'betrayed in three ways'
Mr Heng Swee Keat said the WP MPs had failed to act in their residents' best interests by getting them "a raw deal", as the fees paid to AHPETC's managing agent was the highest among all town councils. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

THE Workers' Party MPs have betrayed the trust of their residents in three ways, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said in Parliament yesterday.

They did so by failing to act in the best interests of their residents, by consistently evading questions and by promising one thing and doing another, he said.

Mr Heng, speaking on the second day of a heated debate on the governance and accounting lapses at Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC), said that integrity must be a hallmark of all elected MPs as residents have placed their trust in them.

related:
Party taken to task over transparency, accountability
Come clean, Shanmugam tells WP MPs
Debate over change of managing agent
AHPETC's situation 'unusual'
Take politics out of town council transfers: WP's Low
Town council 'open about officers' links with FMSS'
WP 'backs move to boost oversight of town councils'
Something seriously wrong at AHPETC, says Khaw
Khaw says AHPETC situation is astounding, Govt to change Town Councils Act
Shanmugam says WP took money from man in the street and gave it to their friends
Sylvia says TC secretary,GM not paying themselves handsomely w/o accountability
WP chief Low Thia Khiang calls for town council transfer to be de-politicised
Workers' Party 'needs to clear air over AGO's report'
Safeguards and steps to avoid conflicts of interest in running town councils
Duo behind managing agent long linked to WP and Hougang Town Council
Town councils' operating and sinking funds must be kept separate, say experts
Parliament to discuss AHPETC audit, call for stronger laws on town councils
5 lapses: Workers' Party TC failed to comply with sinking fund requirement
5 lapses: Insufficient internal controls in place at Workers' Party-run town council
5 lapses: Lack of a proper record-management and accounting system at WP TC


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Unanimous support in House for tougher standards on TCs

The two-day debate in Parliament on the accounting lapses by the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) ended yesterday the same way as it began, with fireworks and trading of barbs.

But calls by Cabinet ministers and a People’s Action Party Member of Parliament (MP) for the Workers’ Party (WP) to take concrete steps to resolve the matter, such as mounting a forensic investigation and pursuing legal action against the town council’s managing agent, FM Solutions and Services (FMSS), went unanswered by the opposition party.

Nevertheless, there was unanimous support from all the 85 MPs present — including all the WP MPs in attendance — for the motion tabled by National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan which, among other things, called on town councils to uphold higher standards of accounting, reporting and corporate governance to safeguard residents’ interests. It also sought MPs’ support to strengthen laws governing town councils in order to “hold those responsible for their good management to proper account”.

related:
Parliament: Khaw chides AHPETC’s behaviour, MND to take action
LawSoc orders M Ravi to stop legal practice
Low Thia Khiang calls for depoliticisation of town council management
Integrity, trust are the issues, not technical rules, Low told


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WP should take legal steps to recover losses and damages: Hri Kumar

Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC MP Hri Kumar Nair said the Workers' Party (WP) should conduct thorough checks on its town council's accounts and take legal steps to recover any losses and damages. He raised this during the debate on the Auditor-General's report on Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) on Friday (Feb 13).

Mr Kumar also called for a detailed forensic investigation to clear up remaining issues surrounding AHPETC's financial accounts.

Mr Kumar said there were serious points he wanted to address in the debate over AHPETC's accounts.

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WP criticised for making ‘flimsy’ excuses for AHPETC’s lapses
Party carefully avoided assuring the House that no public funds under its care have been lost: Hri Kumar

People’s Action Party parliamentarians came out strongly against the Workers’ Party (WP) today (Feb 13) over its running of the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) and accused it of trying to dodge blame for the lapses uncovered by the Auditor-General’s Office (AGO).

Describing AHPETC as a “house in disarray”, Mr Liang Eng Hwa, Member of Parliament (MP) for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, took aim at the WP’s “lax attitude” in managing the town council’s sinking fund, as he echoed his party colleagues’ warning that its residents will suffer in the long run as a result.

The opposition party has also thrown up excuses instead of accounting for the deficiencies flagged in the audit, said Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC MP Hri Kumar Nair, adding that it had even tried to paint a misleading picture that no wrongdoing was found

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WP says over-payment was partly due other companies refusing its business

People's Action Party (PAP) and Workers' Party (WP) MPs clashed in Parliament on Friday over whether, in paying its managing agent S$1.6 million more per year than other town councils, it had mismanaged public funds.

When it won Aljunied GRC in May 2011, the WP became the first Opposition party in Singapore to run a big town council - the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) - and the challenges of large-scale town management was one reason given by the WP for lapses in management found by the Auditor-General's Office (AGO).

related:
Ministers urge WP to run forensic audit of managing agent
Singapore Wrap Friday
MPs unanimously endorse motion on audit finding lapses at WP-run Town Council
Ministers slam WP MPs for 'dereliction of duties'
Observers call for Town Councils Act to have more bite
Parliament to discuss strengthening of Town Councils Act on Feb 12


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AHPETC: MPs debate AG's audit
The motion moved by the Ministry of National Development calls for all town councils to 'uphold high standards of accounting, reporting and corporate governance'

Members of Parliament (MPs) today (Feb 12) debated a motion moved by National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan on the Auditor-General’s audit on the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC). The audit had flagged several major lapses in “governance and compliance”.

Speaking at the start of the debate, Mr Khaw said that MPs for AHPETC have been "evasive, unresponsive and misleading", adding that the MND will take action including a tightening of the current town council regulatory framework and a suspension on the FY2014 Service & Conservancy Charges (S&CC) grant ​for AHPETC.

Story here - In response, Workers' Party (WP) chief Low Thia Khiang cited challenges in attracting managing agents, especially those serving PAP town councils. He said the town council regulatory framework should focus on the “depoliticising…and professionalising of town management" so residents' interests are safeguarded. Story here.

related:
Parliament: Khaw chides AHPETC’s behaviour, MND to take action
Low Thia Khiang calls for depoliticisation of town council management
Govt must make ‘clear’ disclosures required for town councils: Sylvia Lim
AHPETC ‘in shambles’, time WP to come clean on unlawful structure: Shanmugam


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AHPETC's finances dominate Parliament discussions

The state of the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council's (AHPETC) finances dominated the Parliament sitting on Thursday (Feb 12).

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said the Auditor-General's report confirmed that "something is seriously wrong" at the town council.

He said: “They paint a picture of financial mismanagement, incompetence and negligence in corporate governance. If an auditor makes such a finding on a listed company, it will immediately cause consternation among the shareholders, and a call for the removal of the CEO and the board of directors.

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Debate on AHPETC in Parliament: The dramatic things people said

As expected by some, there were verbal fireworks in Parliament on Thursday in the debate over the Auditor-General’s report on the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC). The report found “several lapses” in some of the financial statements of the town council, which is run by the opposition Workers’ Party.

Here are some of the more interesting even wild things that people said. Khaw Boon Wan, Minister for National Development
  •  (On AHPETC’s managing agent, FMSS, run by married couple Danny Loh and How Weng Fan) “It’s very convenient. The husband issues a payment voucher, the wife approves payment, the wife signs a cheque. It’s all in the family.”
  • “In Japan, the chairman or CEO will call a press con, take a deep bow and in the good old days they may even commit ‘harakiri’.”
  • “In response to legit queries from auditors, MND officials, their own residents and the media, they stone-walled, deflected queries, made false or dishonest claims, raised irrelevant excuses and sought to confuse the public.”
  • (On the accountability of elected MPs) “Instead, what we have consistently gotten from MPs of AHPETC is sidestepping and avoiding responsibility… first, no response, then in due course, and then followed by a series of excuses blaming everybody else for their failure to perform.”
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Parliament: Khaw says AHPETC situation is astounding, Govt to change Town Councils Act
National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said on Thursday in Parliament that the Government will act against the "astounding" and "clearly unacceptable" situation in Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC). -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said on Thursday in Parliament that the Government will act against the "astounding" and "clearly unacceptable" situation in Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC).

In addition to amending the law to give the Government more oversight and penalty powers over town councils, it will also withhold several million dollars of grants to AHPETC until "it cleans up its mess", he said.

Kicking off a parliamentary debate on the Auditor-General's Office (AGO) report on AHPETC - which found the Workers' Party-run town council to have lapses in governance and compliance with the law - Mr Khaw told the House that the Government will seek to change the Town Councils Act to give it the power to investigate and take to task errant town councils.

related:
WP chief Low Thia Khiang calls for town council transfer to be de-politicisedParliament
Sylvia Lim says TC secretary, GM not paying themselves handsomely without accountability
Shanmugam says WP took money from man in the street and gave it to their friends

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What you need to know about the AHPETC saga

Singapore's lead opposition party, the Workers' Party, runs a town council overseeing all the constituencies it now represents, called the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council(AHPETC). In an ongoing saga, the AHPETC has been facing questions over, among others, its management of its accounts, as well as the collection of its service and conservancy charges (S&CC). 

Minister of Finance Tharman Shanmugaratnam had directed the Auditor-General's Office to conduct an independent financial audit into AHPETC's accounts. The report was released to the public on 9 February.

What did the Auditor-General's report say?
The report found five key lapses in the AHPETC's accounts:
1. Lack of governance over transactions with related parties;
2. Poor monitoring of S&CC arrears;
3. Poor record and accounting system;
4. Non-compliance with rules on sinking fund;
5. Insufficient internal controls

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Lack of governance over transactions with related parties

There were conflicts of interest involved in transactions worth $25.9 million between the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) and its managing agent, and the town council had failed to properly monitor and manage these contracts, the Auditor-General's Office (AGO) said in its report on the town council's accounts.

These conflicts had arisen as four of the town council's senior officers - secretary Danny Loh Chong Meng, general manager How Weng Fan, and deputy general managers Yeo Soon Fei and Johnson Lieow Chong Sern - had stakes in its managing agent FM Solutions & Services (FMSS) and had verified work and approved payment on behalf of AHPETC to their own company in some instances.

Mr Loh, who is married to Ms How, is also the owner of FM Solutions and Integrated Services (FMSI), a contractor that the town council hired to provide lift maintenance and rescue services.

related:
Audit of WP-run town council flags major lapses
WP Town Council saga: What it's all about
Poor monitoring of S&CC arrears
Many hats for two WP supporters
Insufficient internal controls


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Poor monitoring of S&CC arrears
AHPETC was given the worst banding in the latest annual Town Council Management Report released in November

The Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) did not have a system that could monitor its service and conservancy charges (S&CC), nor generate accurate historical data, said the Auditor-General's Office (AGO).

This led to the town council submitting "unreliable" arrears statistics to the Ministry of National Development (MND) and the town council's own finance and investment committee.

"Consequently, there is no assurance that S&CC arrears are properly monitored and managed," said the AGO.

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Many hats for two WP supporters
The AGO said that AHPETC did not properly disclose or manage potential conflicts of interest

The managing agent of Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) has come under the spotlight again.

FM Solutions & Services (FMSS) is majority-owned by Ms How Weng Fan and Mr Danny Loh. The husband-and-wife team is also employed by AHPETC.

Since Aug 1, 2011, Mr Loh has been secretary and Ms How has been deputy secretary and general manager of the town council.

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Poor record and accounting system


THE lack of a proper record-management and accounting system was why the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) failed to produce accurate financial statements, said the Auditor-General's Office (AGO) yesterday.

The AGO said AHPETC did not adequately safeguard accounting documents for April to July 2011.

Thus, its auditor was unable to conclude that its FY 2011/12 financial statements were true and fair.


Full coverage


Straits Times: Residents' trust was 'betrayed in three ways'
TODAYonline: AHPETC debate in Parliament not about partisan politics: Heng
Online Citizen: Heng Swee Keat's allegations – wild claims or fact?
Straits Times: WP NCMP says he did not evade questions about town council
Straits Times: WP town council episode shows need to strengthen laws: Heng

TODAYonline: Unanimous support in House for tougher standards on TCs
TODAYonline: Integrity, trust are the issues, not technical rules, Low told
Channel News: Asia Long back-and-forth between WP Chief, Heng Swee Keat
Straits Times: WP has betrayed trust of residents of Aljunied,Hougang & Punggol East
Channel News Asia: AHPETC saga an issue of trust: Heng Swee Keat
Channel News Asia: WP should take legal steps to recover losses&damages: H Kumar
CNA: Motion for town councils to uphold high standards passed in Parliament
CNA: No staff member of managing agent privy to tender process: Pritam
TODAYonline: WP arrogant over lapses instead of being remorseful, says Khaw
Straits Times: MPs endorse motion on Auditor-General's findings of lapses
Straits Times: MPs unanimously endorse motion on A-G's audit of WP-run AHPETC
TODAYonline: WP's pattern of deflection, denial betrays public trust, says Heng
TODAYonline: Managing agent's staff not privy to tender process: Pritam Singh
BUSINESS TIMES: WP says over-payment was partly due other companies refusing
Yahoo Sg: Khaw demands Workers' Party deal with FMSS 'crooks' for 'monumental
TODAYonline: WP criticised for making 'flimsy' excuses for AHPETC's lapses
Yahoo Sg: Debate AHPETC in Parliament Part 2: Even more dramatic things people
Straits Times: Take politics out of town council transfers: WP's Low
Straits Times: AHPETC setup designed to take money from residents & enrich friends
Straits Times: 'Give answers to Parliament, not just residents'
Straits Times: Something seriously wrong at AHPETC, says Khaw
Straits Times: Come clean, Shanmugam tells WP MPs
Straits Times: AHPETC's situation 'unusual'
Straits Times: Town council 'open about officers' links with FMSS'
Straits Times: The Debate in 2 minutes
Straits Times: Party taken to task over transparency, accountability
Straits Times: Public's interests must come first
Straits Times: WP 'backs move to boost oversight of town councils'
Straits Times: Debate over change of managing agent
Online Citizen: AGO had also found shortcomings in ministries and others: Png
Straits Times: Something seriously wrong at AHPETC, says Khaw

AsiaOne: Operating and sinking funds must be kept separate, say experts
AsiaOne: MPs to debate Auditor-General's report
BUSINESS TIMES: Ministers slam WP MPs for 'dereliction of duties'
Straits Times: A sad commentary on state of affairs in town council: Khaw Boon Wan
TODAYonline: Shanmugam takes WP leaders to task over 'breach of duties'
TODAYonline: Public monies have been lost, minister charges
TODAYonline: The people behind FM Solutions and services
TODAYonline: AGO's audit findings raise four issues, says Shanmugam
TODAYonline: Town Councils Act to be amended to enforce tougher standards
TODAYonline: TODAY's brief, Friday, Feb 13
TODAYonline: Town council management should be depoliticised: Low Thia Khiang
TODAYonline: WP retorts lead to spirited exchange with minister
TODAYonline: Town council's lapses 'affect residents' interests, safety'
TODAYonline: S&CC grants to AHPETC withheld until issues fixed: Khaw
Channel News Asia: We are for transparency and accountability: Low Thia Khiang
Channel News Asia: AHPETC finances are a 'sorry state of affairs': Shanmugam
Channel News Asia: Audit report raises major issues with AHPETC: Shanmugam
Channel News Asia: AHPETC's finances dominate Parliament discussions
Channel News Asia: I take personal responsibility for overpayment error: Sylvia Lim
Straits Times: The Straits Times' News In A Minute: Feb 12, 2015
AsiaOne: Shanmugam Shanmugamsays WP took money from man in the streets
Yahoo Singapore: Debate AHPETC in Parliament: The dramatic things people said
Yahoo Singapore: Workers' Party supports government motion criticising AHPETC
Online Citizen: Sylvia Lim lays down the facts to correct misimpressions
TODAYonline: AHPETC 'in shambles' time WP to come clean on unlawful structure
Channel News Asia: Process of transition for Town Councils should be depoliticised
Straits Times: Shanmugam says WP took money from man in the street and gave it
TODAYonline: Govt must make 'clear' disclosures required for town councils: Sylvia
TODAYonline: AHPETC: MPs debate AG's audit
Straits Times: Sylvia Lim says town council secretary, general manager not paying
TODAYonline: Low Thia Khiang calls for depoliticisation of TC management
TODAYonline: AHPETC: MPs debate AG's audit
Straits Times: WP chief Low Thia Khiang calls for town council transfer to be de
BUSINESS TIMES: Parliament: Singapore to amend Town Councils Act
Straits Times: Khaw says AHPETC situation is astounding, Govt to change Town
TODAYonline: Parliament: Khaw chides AHPETC's behaviour, MND to take action
Yahoo Singapore: What you need to know about the AHPETC saga
Channel News Asia: Motion tabled on Auditor-General's Report on AHPETC
AsiaOne: ‎WP Town Council saga: What it's all about
AsiaOne: 5 lapses flagged in Workers' Party's AHPETC accounts
TODAYonline: Khaw chides AHPETC's behaviour, MND to take action
Straits Times: MORNING MINUTES: What will make headlines today
TODAYonline: TODAY's brief, Thursday, Feb 12
TODAYonline: Look into moves by town councils
Channel News Asia: Independent body manage TC could prevent conflict of interest
Straits Times: Low Thia Khiang: Workers' Party will respond in Parliament
Channel News Asia: AHPETC audit report could strengthen of Town Councils Act
AsiaOne: AHPETC, single parents, drones, to be discussed in Parliament
Channel News Asia: AHPETC audit, public transport fares on the agenda
Straits Times: TCs' operating and sinking funds must be kept separate, say experts
Straits Times: Safeguards & steps to avoid conflicts of interest in running TCs
Straits Times: Workers' Party 'needs to clear air over AGO's report'
Straits Times: Getting to bottom of town council saga
TODAYonline: Parliament to discuss governance, safeguards for all town councils
AsiaOne Audit of WP-run town council flags major lapses
Online Citizen: Managing agents in key positions in TCs a common practice
AsiaOne: Non-compliance with rules on sinking fund
AsiaOne": Insufficient internal controls
AsiaOne Poor record and accounting system
AsiaOne: Many hats for two WP supporters
AsiaOne: Poor monitoring of S&CC arrears
AsiaOne: Lack of governance over transactions with related parties
Straits Times: Audit of Workers' Party-run town council flags major lapses


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AHPETC in Parliament and the politics of stupidity
Two whole days were spent niggling over the finances of a single town council, with various Ministers taking the stand to chastise, lambast, accuse and denigrate the effectiveness and integrity of the Workers’ Party Members of Parliament in charge of AHPETC, who then had to defend themselves against these allegations. That was followed up by countless media reports, and even all the way to this week, we can hear the topic being discussed on national radio. The circus continues

In spite of all the red marks AHPETC received in its annual town council audits by MND, to question the effectiveness of its leaders is very different from questioning their integrity. In fact, putting the same spotlight of scrutiny that AGO had on any other town council might have yielded similar results.

What is of national concern, however, was not given the air time it deserves in Parliament. We are talking about many millions more, given to the government led by the ruling People’s Action Party for the management of the nation, yet with clear transgressions of proper accountability. We are talking about yet another report by AGO, this time on the financial irregularities in government agencies. This is not money given to one town council, but money that an entire nation of tax-payers had entrusted to the government. Were any of these financial issues debated as robustly as AHPETC’s finances


We should also note that Mr Khaw’s own Ministry had more recently been called into question for oversights in tendering the Fernvale temple and columbarium. Amazingly, Mr Khaw was allowed to explain this away by making references to, of all things, Chinese folklore.


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Cutting through the smog to the facts on AHPETC

The debate in Parliament over the Workers’ Party town council, AHPETC, has been fiery with many accusations thrown at the WP.

It would thus be good to go beyond the political rhetoric and accusations and look at things factually.


In this regard, we will be presenting each main issue here, giving the facts so that Singaporeans can better understand them, and not be confused by the mainstream media and the politicians’ rhetoric to score political points.

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Workers' Party supports government motion criticising AHPETC

Singapore’s Workers’ Party (WP) on Thursday supported a government motion in Parliament critical of the opposition party's management of the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC).

WP secretary-general Low Thia Khiang promised that his party would address and remedy the issues raised by the Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) report, which found several lapses in AHPETC’s financial year 2012-13 accounts.

Low pointed out that the AGO report did not find the AHPETC to be engaged in corrupt practices, nor was there any money lost or misappropriated.

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We are for transparency and accountability: Low Thia Khiang on AHPETC finances

Several elected members of the Workers’ Party (WP) on Thursday (Feb 12) expressed their support for the motion that was critical of how the opposition party has run the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC).

Party leader Mr Low Thia Khiang told Parliament that WP takes the report by the Auditor-General (AGO) seriously and the party has taken steps to remedy the lapses that have been highlighted.

Mr Low also refuted claims that the town council's managing agent FMSS was awarded contracts without tenders. He said open tenders were called in 2012 for managing agent and essential maintenance service unit contracts. The most recent tender was for a managing agent contract in November 2014.

related:
Process of transition for Town Councils should be depoliticised: Low Thia Khiang
AHPETC audit report could lead to strengthening of Town Councils Act: Law expert
Town Councils Act review: Questions on enforcement, accountability
AHPETC findings: MND to call for stronger legislative framework for town councils


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Parliament: WP chief Low Thia Khiang calls for town council transfer to be de-politicised
Mr Low said that AHPETC's problems stemmed from its difficulty in finding an established managing agent to hire when it first won Aljunied GRC in May 2011. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

The Workers' Party (WP) supports the Government's move to strengthen the oversight of town councils and takes seriously the Auditor-General's findings of lapses in governance and compliance in its Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC), said WP chief Low Thia Khiang on Thursday.

Speaking publicly on the AGO's report for the first time, Mr Low said that AHPETC's problems stemmed from its difficulty in finding an established managing agent to hire when it first won Aljunied GRC in May 2011.

The large managing agents that run People's Action Party town councils in Singapore would not take the WP's business, he said: "it seems that the managing agents serving PAP town councils are unwilling to serve in non-PAP town councils, and the reason appears to be political rather than professional."

related:
Parliament: Shanmugam says WP took money from man in the street and gave it to their friendsParliament: Sylvia Lim says town council secretary, general manager not paying themselves handsomely without accountabilityParliament: Khaw says AHPETC situation is astounding, Govt to change Town Councils Act

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The debate in two minutes

FOR four hours yesterday, Parliament scrutinised the Auditor-General's findings of accounting lapses in the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council's (AHPETC) financial statements.

While two ministers spoke critically of the Workers' Party-run town council, its party chief and the town council chairman took pains to remind the House that there was no evidence of corrupt practices or missing money, and stressed that improvements had been made.

Opposition-run town council's financial statements in the spotlight - THE Government will withhold $7 million in grants from the Workers' Party-run Aljunied- Hougang-Punggol East Town Council until it sets its house in order, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said.

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I take personal responsibility for overpayment error: Sylvia Lim on AHPETC funds

Workers' Party chairman Sylvia Lim acknowledged some lapses made in the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council's (AHPETC) sinking fund and related party transactions.

The MP for Aljunied GRC also said she takes personal responsibility for calculation errors on a contract awarded to FM Solutions & Services (FMSS) in 2011. The company, which handles estate maintenance services for AHPETC, was in the spotlight after it was revealed that a few of its senior management also held key positions in the town council.

Speaking in Parliament, Ms Lim spoke about the town council's sinking fund in her 35-minute speech. She said there could have been misunderstanding among the public that the sinking funds were lost, but this was not the case.

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Shanmugam’s chart raises questions about PAP TCs’ MA rates
WP’s secretary-general Low Thia Khiang also told Mr Shanmugam that the rates cannot be the same. Mr Shanmugam replied that he would check the rates for accuracy

In Parliament yesterday, the Workers’ Party faced a barrage of accusations against its Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC).Law Minister, K Shanmugam, was one of those who had strong words for the WP-run town council.

He said “that WP took money from the man in the street and gave it to FMSS, to their friends” and described the town council’s finances as a “sorry state of affairs”.

He also took particular issue with the fees which FM Solutions and Services (FMSS) charges AHPETC. They are higher than in other town councils, Mr Shanmugam claimed.

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Sylvia Lim lays down the facts to correct misimpressions
Speech by MP for Aljunied GRC and chairman of the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Townn Council [Delivered in Parliament on 12 Feb 2015]

We support the motion and as Town Council chairman I would like to put the concerns about the accounts of Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East TC in proper perspective.

As we said before, we welcome the audit by the Auditor-General’s Office. The Workers’ Party believes in transparency and accountability. We have given whatever documents we could to facilitate the audit, including documents with mistakes made or that embarrass us. The Town Council has done its best to prioritise the audit with the resources it has. The past year has been gruelling for management and staff, as we were running a live operation at the same time. The team auditing us consisted of 8 members from the AGO, and 8 from PricewaterhouseCoopers, a total of 16, for the past 9 to 10 months. I wish to record my sincere thanks and appreciation to all those who worked long hours to complete the audit.

The Motion expresses concern about some aspects of the TC’s accounts and record keeping, particularly in FY 12, two years ago. We, the MPs of Aljunied, Hougang and Punggol East, are concerned about these matters.

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50 shades of white, PAP government’s house needs cleaning

It was shocking indeed to hear Khaw Boon Wan use the example of  Japanese senior management who would resign and even commit hara-kiri (suicide) over wrongdoings. I doubt he was actually asking the WP MPs to kill themselves over AHPETC but Khaw was certainly playing to the gallery to exaggerate and  sensationalise the lapses committed by WP during its learning curve of managing its first GRC.

Those who live in glass houses should be sure their homes are clean of filth before they lob accusations at others for not doing proper housekeeping.  In the 2013/2014 report by the AGO, irregularities were found in various agencies under the Ministry of National Development headed by Minister Khaw who has been spearheading the Parliamentary attacks on WP.

The report said the National Parks Board’s transgressions included creating and backdating some documents relating to the development of Gardens by the Bay to give the impression that they existed at the time when the relevant transactions took place. The AGO said “creating and backdating documents to satisfy audit queries is a serious irregularity. It also casts doubts on the authenticity of other documents and information provided to AGO.”

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AGO had also found shortcomings in ministries and others: Png

“Over the years, the AGO has found sad instances of over payments, payments without evidence that goods and services were delivered, duplicate payments and in one instance amounting to $18.6 million, and etc in many ministries and organs of states it audited,” said Png Eng Huat, Member of Parliament (MP) for Hougang single-member constituency in Parliament on Thursday.

Mr Png, who is also one of two vice-chairman of the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC), was responding to the motion filed by Minister of National Development, Khaw Boon Wan. Mr Png said the WP accepts the Auditor General report on its town council which had been found “to have erred”.

“I am certain AHPETC will not be the last as well because good corporate governance is a work in progress,” he said after highlighting a list of shortcomings found by the AGO in its annual audits of other organisations.

related:
Cutting through the smog to the facts on AHPETC
AGO had also found shortcomings in ministries and others: Png
Shanmugam’s chart raises questions about PAP TCs’ MA rates
Sylvia Lim lays down the facts to correct misimpressions
Managing agents in key positions in town councils a common practice


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Debate on the Auditor-General’s Report on the Audit of AHPETC – MP Png Eng Huat

Madam Speaker, we all know what the Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) is known for and the values they represent. In every report that came out of AGO since time immemorial, entities under its scrutiny had to go through a baptism of fire whenever the AGO came knocking. I have full respect for their work.

Over the years, the AGO has found sad instances of over payments, payments without evidence that goods and services were delivered, duplicate payments and in one instance amounting to $18.6 million, and etc in many ministries and organs of states it audited. One agency was found to have called for a quotation instead of a tender for a project that exceeded $70,000 in the 2010/11 AGO report. Another agency was cited to have issued purchase orders to the term contractor only after the contractor has started the work.

AGO also revealed that 10 statutory boards did not present their FY 2006/07 annual reports to Parliament within the six-month time frame and three of these boards had also been late the previous two year. One of them did not even present its audited financial statements to Parliament for the previous two financial years.

related:
Debate on the Auditor-General’s Report on the Audit of AHPETC: MP Low Thia Khiang
Debate on the Auditor-General’s Report on the Audit of AHPETC: MP Sylvia Lim
Debate on the Auditor-General’s Report on the Audit of AHPETC: MP Png Eng Huat
Debate on the Auditor-General’s Report on the Audit of AHPETC: MP Chen Show Mao
Debate on the Auditor-General’s Report on the Audit of AHPETC: MP Pritam Singh
Debate on the Auditor-General’s Report on the Audit of AHPETC: MP Muhamad Faisal
Debate on the Auditor-General’s Report on the Audit of AHPETC: MP Lee Li Lian
Debate on the Auditor-General’s Report on the Audit of AHPETC: Full Report

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Lapses in Governance And Compliance

THE Auditor-General's Office (AGO) has found several major lapses in the governance of the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) run by the opposition Workers' Party (WP).

The AGO concluded in a report released on Monday: "Until the weaknesses are addressed, there can be no assurance that AHPETC's accounts are accurate and reliable, or that public funds are being properly spent, accounted for and managed."

Observers told The Business Times that the "damning" findings will inevitably create a dent in the public's confidence in the WP, and urged the government to strengthen its powers for regulatory oversight. Several of these commentators described the existing Town Councils Act as "toothless".

read more

The AHPETC Saga
The problem with related party transactions
WP must now walk the talk, take action
National Solidarity Party calls on Government to de-politicise town councils
Party taken to task over transparency, accountability
Public's interests must come first
Come clean, Shanmugam tells WP MPs
AHPETC's situation 'unusual'
Town council 'open about officers' links with FMSS'
Debate over change of managing agent
WP 'backs move to boost oversight of town councils'
'Something seriously wrong at AHPETC'
AHPETC lapses 'astounding', says Khaw
Money not lost, just not transferred appropriately: WP
Sylvia Lim debunks 'wrong impressions' of FMSS, AHPETC
'De-politicise town council transfer'
Govt seeks new power over town councils
Duo behind managing agent long linked to WP and Hougang Town Council
Operating and sinking funds must be kept separate, say experts
Safeguards and steps to avoid conflicts of interest
Workers' Party 'needs to clear air over AGO's report'
MPs to debate Auditor-General's report
Shanmugam says WP took money from man in the street and gave it to their friends
Insufficient internal controls
Many hats for two WP supporters
Poor monitoring of S&CC arrears
Lack of governance over transactions with related parties
WP Town Council saga: What it's all about
Audit of WP-run town council flags major lapses
5 lapses flagged in Workers' Party's AHPETC accounts
Poor record and accounting system
AHPETC, single parents, drones, to be discussed in Parliament tomorrow
AGO: Lapses in WP's town council accounts
Auditor-General finds several lapses in governance,compliance in audit of AHPETC
WP yet to respond on town council's finances: Desmond Lee
MND to review Town Councils Act
AHPETC denies intentionally delaying response to arrears issue
AHPETC 'to address arrears issue after audit'
AHPETC's 'poor performance a grave public concern': MND
Citizens' Consultative Committee on Kaki Bukit upgrading appeal
WP-run town council to raise S&CC for 5 wards
'Red' for WP town council's report card
Auditor-General stepping in shows 'serious concern'
Town council hails decision
Ministry refutes AHPETC's claim
Auditor 'raised serious questions'
Auditor-General to study WP town council's accounts
Auditor-General to audit WP town council
Tharman directs Auditor-General to audit Workers' Party town council's accounts
AHPETC claims trial over unlicensed fair it held in Hougang: Sylvia Lim
MND responds to WP's defence of town council
No all-clear for AHPETC's accounts
Auditors say AHPETC did not follow town council rules; MND concerned
Town council hauled up to court for organising fair in Hougang without licence
WP town council's 'main concern' is completing audit


read more

related:
Auditor-General's Report FY2013/2014
Auditor-General's Report FY2014/2015
AGO Report 2015/2016
'Pervasive' lapses in WP town council
Lapses in Governance And Compliance
The AHPETC Saga
MPs debate "Lapses in Governance And Compliance"
Lapses in Governance And Compliance
Town Council Grants And Surplus Issues
From Adverse-Opinion, Ceiling-Cleaning to Unlicensed-Fair
Paying high salaries to mitigate corruption