The Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) has issued a statement in response to the press release released by the Ministry of National Development (MND) on 12 April 2017.
MND had highlighted that is the fifth consecutive year that AHTC’s financial statements have been qualified by the Town Council’s external auditor.
MND: AHTC submitted its financial statements late and given disclaimers by its auditor
MND in its press release, pointed at AHTC’s audited financial statements and noted that the town council submitted its financial statement on 24 February 2017, almost six months after the submission deadline of 31 August 2016 for all Town Councils.
MND further noted that as there were several reporting discrepancies in the statements, AHTC was informed to have them rectified. After two rounds of amendments, AHTC submitted its finalised FY2015 audited financial statements on 5 April 2017.
It states that the auditor has issued disclaimers in the areas of the Town Council’s opening balances, conservancy and service fees received in advance, payables and accrued expenses, as well as staff costs. And also flagged several instances of non-compliances with the Town Councils Act and Town Councils Financial Rules.
MND further included a summary of AHTC’s contraventions for FY2015 to the press.
In its own press release, AHTC clarified the three highlighted non-compliances with the Town Councils Act and Town Council Financial Rules (TCFR) by stating the below:
a. On the failure to transfer sinking funds in a timely fashion (repeated finding from FY2012, FY2013 and FY2014), as required under Rule 4(2B)(a) of the TCFR, all outstanding Sinking Fund transfers have since been made upon the receipt of the withheld Government grants in April 2016.
b. On the failure to ensure that all disbursements from the Sinking Fund are properly attributable for Sinking Fund purposes as required under Rule 53(1) of the TCFR, the amount in question came up to $4,161.87. It was duly returned to the Sinking Fund on 14 Dec 2016. In committing the oversight, an estate staff had wrongly classified the repair of a resident’s leaking ceiling as facade repair works, the latter of which is properly attributable to the Sinking Fund.
c. On the failure to include a debarment statement in the invitation of quotations or tenders as required under Rule 86A(3) of the TCFR, the omission of the debarment statement was an isolated case involving one Invitation To Quote (ITQ) exercise. For all subsequent ITQs, this requirement has been complied with.
AHTC noted that the clarifications above had been made known to MND by way of its auditor’s detailed observations.
So why didn’t MND highlight the clarifications in its annex following its mention of the non-compliances?