Auditor-General finds ‘lapses’ in AHPETC’s FY2012-13 financial accounts

Sylvia Lim leaving the Subordinate Courts after the hearing regarding the NEA-AHPETC case on 18/1/2014.

[UPDATED 9 February 2015 at 7:50pm: Added statement of AHPETC]

The Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) said it found “several lapses” in the financial statements of the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council for fiscal year 2012-13.

Based on its audit, the AGO said in a report released to the public on Monday that AHPETC’s accounts for the period “did not accurately reflect the state of affairs and transactions” of the opposition Workers’ Party-run town council.

According to the report, the “major lapses” include: failure to transfer monies into sinking fund bank accounts, inadequate oversight of related party transactions, lack of system to monitor arrears in conservancy and service charges, poor internal controls and lack of a system to safeguard documents and records.

“Until the weaknesses are addressed, there can be no assurance that AHPETC’s accounts are accurate and reliable, or that public funds are properly spent, accounted for and managed,” AGO said in the report.

The Minister for National Development “will be moving a motion” on the report at the Parliament sitting for Thursday, the MND said in a joint press release with the Ministry of Finance on Monday.

In reaction, AHPETC said on Monday that given that a motion will be filed, it will give its response in Parliament.

The MOF and MND received the AGO report last Friday and a copy was made available to AHPETC the following day, they said.

In February 2014, the Minister for Finance, at the request of the Minister for National Development, directed the Auditor-General to conduct an audit of the AHPETC’s FY2012-13 accounts.

The request came after AHPETC’s auditor, Foo Kon Tan Grant Thornton LLP submitted a disclaimer of opinion of the financial statements, raising 13 issues of concern over the town council’s accounts.