Thursday, 28 July 2016

Auditor-General’s Report 2015/2016

Reports of the Auditor-General

The Report of the Auditor-General was signed on 14 July 2016 and submitted to the President of Singapore.

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Inadequate financial controls, weak governance uncovered in AGO report

The Auditor-General's report for Financial Year 2015/16 was released on Tue (Jul 26), and it uncovered instances of inadequate financial controls over Government operations and weak governance.

In a media release, the Auditor-General's Office (AGO) said that, as a whole, it audited the Government Financial Statements -- incorporating the accounts of all 16 Government ministries and eight organs of state -- and the financial statements of 3 statutory boards, a Government fund, 5 Government-owned companies and 3 other accounts. Selective audits were also carried out on 9 statutory boards and 3 Government funds.

The audit observations in this year's report relate to 6 ministries, including the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Defence, and 6 statutory boards such as the Housing and Development Board (HDB) and Nanyang Polytechnic, AGO said.

related:
MOE, NYP rapped for lack of oversight, weak governance: AGO report
Up to S$13.9m in tolls under-collected by LTA: AGO
SCDF: OFFICIAL CASH CARDS USED ON PERSONAL TRIPS
MINDEF cited in Auditor-General's Report for lapses in management of land
Room for improvement in how CPF Board administers schemes: AGO
'Logic flaws' in NLB's computerised system for selecting, purchasing books
MDA rapped for failing to monitor project deliverables: AGO's Report
'Serious irregularity', NParks officer created backdated documents for audit

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Auditor-General's Report flags irregularities in use of public funds

Lapses in the administration of grants, schemes and programmes, as well as instances of weak management of resources which resulted in wastage, were highlighted in the Auditor-General's Report for the Financial Year 2013/14, released on Thu (Jul 17).

After a few years in which the Auditor-General's Office (AGO) focused on procurement-related issues, it said it "consciously shifted" the emphasis for this year's audit to other areas to give the public sector time to enhance their procurement systems.

This year's report -- submitted by Auditor-General Willie Tan Yoke Meng to President Tony Tan Keng Yam on Jul 1 and presented to Parliament on Tue -- highlighted the following areas for public sector entities to pay greater attention to:
  • Administration of grants and commitment of public funds (4 serious observations cited)
  • Administration of schemes and programmes (7)
  • Management of land and assets (4)
  • Procurement (8)
  • Other lapses (8
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Auditor-General’s Report FY 2015/16: Audit observations
Newly refurbished Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall on July 10, 2014. TODAY file photo

In its latest report for financial year 2015/16, the Auditor General’s Office (AGO) flagged lapses and inadequate financial controls in 6 ministries and 6 statutory boards. These ranged from investments made without proper approval and evaluation by the Ministry of Defence, to the National Arts Council paying a consultancy fee of S$0.41 million for the construction of a bin centre that cost S$0.47 million.

Here’s are highlights of the AGO’s audit observations:
  • MINISTRY OF DEFENCE (Mindef)
  • MINISTRY OF EDUCATION (MOE)
  • MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (MFA)
  • MINISTRY OF MANPOWER (MOM)
  • NATIONAL ARTS COUNCIL (NAC)
  • LAND TRANSPORT AUTHORITY (LTA)
  • HOUSING AND DEVELOPMENT BOARD (HDB)
  • MOE – NANYANG POLYTECHNIC (NYP)
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AGO report flags several ministries for lapses

When 2 universities failed to recover tuition-fee and study loans given to their students within a specified period,the Ministry of Education (MOE) did not take the necessary follow-up actions promptly.


Called out for its lack of oversight in administering schemes and programmes such as scholarship bonds and study loans, the MOE was 1 of 12 government bodies whose lapses were flagged by the Auditor-General’s Office’s (AGO) annual audit of the public sector.

Others cited for lapses in the AGO’s 61-page report, made public on Tue (Jul 26), included the Defence Ministry (Mindef) and the Housing and Development Board (HDB).

related:
Nanyang Polytechnic gave hidden subsidies, excess funds to subsidiary
Auditor-General’s Report FY 2015/16: Audit observations


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10 things to know about the AGO report

After the report is submitted to the President and presented to Parliament, the Public Accounts Committee will deliberate on the report and may call upon the public sector entities to account of lapses where it deems necessary.

The Auditor-General's Office (AGO) released its report for the financial year 2015/16 on the proper accounting, management and use of public resources on Tue (Jul 26).

Here are 10 things to know about the report:
  1. The AGO audited a total of 16 ministries, 11 statutory boards, 8 organs of state, 5 government-owned companies, 4 government funds & 3 other accounts
  2. The Housing Development Board (HDB)
  3. Land Transport Authority (LTA)
  4. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA)
  5. The Ministry of Law
  6. Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP)
  7. The Ministry of Education (MOE)
  8. The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY)
  9. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)
  10. What happens now?
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Auditor-General flags lack of oversight in MOE on enforcing study loans, scholarship bonds
Students at the self-study area of National University of Singapore. FOTO: ST FILE

The Auditor-General has signalled his concern over weak governance of public funds in several government agencies, and "lax" oversight of external entities tasked to administer schemes and loans.

These weaknesses in governance were set out in the latest annual report of the Auditor-General's Office (AGO) released on Tue (Jul 26).

Most notable was poor oversight found in Ministry of Education (MOE) funded tuition fee loans, study loans and scholarships which are administered by the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Related:
About $13.9m in tolls at land checkpoints under-collected due to LTA's weak controls
Nanyang Polytechnic gave $8.38m in 'hidden subsidies, excess funds' to subsidiary


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AGO audit reveals ‘serious lapses’ in several Government agencies
Serious lapses in the administration of programmes, poor management of land and assets, as well as inconsistencies in procurement were some of the issues highlighted in the Auditor-General’s Report for the Financial Year 2013/2014

Presented to Parliament on Tuesday, the Report cited the Ministry of Defence, Central Provident Fund Board, National Library Board, Media Development Agency and National Parks Board, among others, as ministries and statutory boards where the lapses occurred.


The audit involves checks for waste, excess and financial irregularity in government ministries and in the use of government funds through test checks -- which may not reveal all lapses.

In its report, the AGO stated that the irregularities do not necessarily reflect the general state of administration but serve as “pointers” to areas where improvements should be made.

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AGO report: Workers' Party calls for transparency in remedial actions

The Workers' Party on Mon (Aug 1) said that the multiple lapses in public sector spending and governance flagged in the Auditor-General's Office report released last Tuesday are "matters of grave public concern" & should be adequately addressed by the Government.

The Opposition party said in its press release that of particular concern are "recurring lapses taking place under one ministry".

Referring to the lapses reported of the Ministry of Education, the WP said that more than half of the scholars selected by the AGO for test-checks failed to fulfil their scholarship obligations to Singapore, as well as the "worrying trend" in the pattern of lapses in procurement, tender & giving preferential access to a related party across several institutions.

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Full Coverage:
AGO report: Long delay in MOE review draws scrutiny
AGO report flags several ministries for lapses
AGO report: Lapses in enforcing scholarship bonds
AGO report: AGO flags weak MOE controls over public funds
Inadequate monitoring of car park operations by HDB: AGO report
MOM wasted public funds with non-compatible IT system: AGO
Up to S$13.9m in tolls under-collected by LTA: AGO
Auditor-General's Report FY 2015/16: Audit observations
Inadequate monitoring of car park operations by HDB: AGO report
Auditor-General's Report flags irregularities in use of public funds
AGO's Report identifies lapses in Gardens By The Bay contract controls
Public agencies’ procurement still ‘prone to lapses’: Auditor-General Office
AGO flags lack of oversight in MOE on enforcing study loans, scholarship
Auditor-General's Report FY 2015/16: Audit observations
AG flags lack of oversight in MOE on enforcing study loans, scholarship
Inadequate financial controls, weak governance uncovered in AGO
AGO report: Nanyang Polytechnic gave $8.38m in 'hidden subsidies
Nanyang Polytechnic gave hidden subsidies, excess funds to
AGO report flags several ministries for lapses | TODAYonline
AGO report: HDB delayed S$37.6m in final payments to contractors
Nanyang Poly gave $8.38m in "hidden subsidies, excess funds"
MOE, NYP rapped for lack of oversight, weak governance
Auditor-General's Report FY 2015/16: Audit observations
10 things to know about the AGO report
Nanyang Polytechnic gave hidden subsidies
AGO report: Nanyang Poly found weak in governance
MOM wasted public funds with non-compatible IT system: AGO
AGO report: AGO flags weak MOE controls over public funds
Inadequate financial controls, weak governance uncovered in AGO
Auditor-General's Report FY 2015/16: Audit observations
MOE, NYP rapped for lack of oversight, weak governance: AGO report
Auditor-General flags lack of oversight in MOE on enforcing study
MOM wasted public funds with non-compatible IT system: AGO
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KPMG findings on AHTC lapses of 'grave concern': HDB
Auditor-General flags lack of oversight in MOE on enforcing study
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Auditor-General's Report FY 2015/16: Audit observations
AGO report: Nanyang Poly found weak in governance
MOE, NYP rapped for lack of oversight, weak governance
10 things to know about the AGO report
Nanyang Polytechnic gave hidden subsidies, excess funds to subsidiary
AGO report: Nanyang Polytechnic gave $8.38m in 'hidden subsidies

Inadequate monitoring of car park operations by HDB: AGO report

Social Media on AGO's Report 2016:
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Unusually late publication of the AGO report 2015/2016
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Failure by NUS and NTU to remind recipients of scholarship obligations
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AGO to G departments: Buck up! You lack proper financial & governance
Volunteer police overpaid at $3.60 an hr, should have been $2.80 instead
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GOVT FINANCIAL LAPSES DWARF THAT OF WP TOWN COUNCIL
MINISTERS MUST ANSWER FOR SHOCKING NEGLECT IN PUBLIC
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AGO’s new report flags HDB for allowing its car parking system
More Damning Lapses Costing Hundreds of Millions in Education Sector
No punishment on multi-million dollar lapses scandal from AGO report
AGO on Singapore Government: Governance is weak, finances splurged
Singaporeans react to AGO findings of Mindef’s $50 million investments

AGO report blows gaping hole in PAP rhetoric of competent & efficient gov

related:
Auditor-General's Report 2016/2017
Auditor-General's Report 2015/2016
Auditor-General's Report 2014/2015
Auditor-General's Report 2013/2014
'Pervasive' lapses in WP town council
Lapses in Governance And Compliance