Almost $1m worth of contracts & purchases by 9 GROs made without following rules

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The Auditor General’s Office (AGO), which released its annual audit of government ministries and statutory boards last week, has found lapses in procurement among the grassroots organisations (GROs) under the People’s Association (PA).

The Online Citizen (TOC) has highlighted two such instances in previous reports.

Please see here: “Auditor-General issues damning report on People’s Association“.

And here: “AGO on PA irregularities – CCMCs award contracts worth $17.78m without approvals“.

In addition, the Ago had also found that five GROs had awarded nine contracts before they obtaining approvals from the relevant authorities.

These nine contracts had a total value of S$152,000.

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Also, the AGO found that five GROs had obtained approvals from the wrong approving authorities for the awarding of 15 contracts.

These 15 contracts were worth a total of S$565,000.

The AGO discovered that four GROs did not seek approval for making 10 direct purchases from suppliers.

These had a value of S$53,700.

“Direct purchases should only be made if there are compelling reasons since there would not be competition, and such purchases should be subject to additional scrutiny by the approving authorities,” the AGO said in its report.

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The Ago also discovered that three GROs did not invite quotation in writing for 13 purchases.

These had a total value of S$187,900.

“There was hence no assurance that requirements were consistently conveyed to all suppliers who were invited to quote,” the AGO said.

The Auditor concluded that the failures to follow financial accounting and purchasing rules indicated that the GROs may not be familiar with the PA’s own financial rules.

However, the Ago also criticised the PA for its lax oversight.

“They also reflect a lack of oversight by PA on the GROs’ compliance with its Financial Rules,” the AGO said.

The PA told the Ago it would “review” its processes and will remind the GROs to comply with PA’s rules.