Wednesday, 27 September 2023

We are shifting our daily news to Gutzy.Asia Support us there!

MOF only mentions a RSAF engineer being investigated by CPIB but not PA officer

In a reply to a ST Forum letter today (3 Aug), a spokesperson from the Ministry of Finance explained that majority of the lapses highlighted in the recent Auditor-General’s Report were not “criminal in nature”.

“The vast majority of the lapses reported by the AG’s Office over the years are not criminal in nature and do not warrant being brought to court. Most are administrative or procedural lapses, brought about mainly by a lack of awareness, carelessness or poor supervision,” the spokesperson said.

“In such cases, where appropriate, internal disciplinary actions are taken against officers found responsible.”

However, in the event that there are suggestions of corruption, fraud or other criminal wrongdoing, these will be referred for police investigation, he added.

“If there is sufficient evidence against the officer, he/she will be charged in court. If found guilty, the officer faces the full measure of the law.”

In his reply, the spokesperson only mentioned the case of a RSAF engineer being referred to CPIB for investigation. He did not say if the PA officer highlighted in the recent AGO report has also been referred for further investigation.

AGO: PA officer submits reimbursement claims which “might not be authentic”

In the recent 2017/18 report, AGO’s test checked on some of the overseas purchases and payments for costumes and accessories used in the Chingay Parade 2017 event organized by the People’s Association (PA).

In particular, AGO has alluded to possible fraud been committed by an officer, “The weaknesses included not adhering to procurement principles and weak controls over payments. There were also tell-tale signs on some supporting documents submitted for reimbursement claims which indicated that they might not be authentic.”

AGO found that PA had allowed the officer to make overseas purchases amounting to $142,200 and to pay for them in cash or through a remittance agent. This officer subsequently claimed reimbursements using cash sales receipts and AGO found that some of these receipts submitted by the officer had tell-tale signs, which cast doubts on their authenticity.

“Thus, there was no assurance that the amount of reimbursement claimed by the officer was the actual amount of cash that was paid by the officer to the overseas vendors,” AGO said, alluding to possible fraud.

And to add to the intrigue, although the officer was accompanied by at least one other staff during the sourcing and purchasing trips, AGO found that he had made two additional personal overseas trips at his own expense so as to make purchases, settle final payments for earlier purchases and obtain cash sales receipts.

“Allowing the officer to make purchases and payments unaccompanied by other staff exposed PA to the risks of duplicate and inflated claims,” AGO commented.

After the AGO report was released, the media approached PA for comments. PA would only say that the said officer has left PA.

Close relationship between PAP and PA

Incidentally, though PA is only a government statutory board, it enjoys a very “close” relationship with the PAP, the ruling party.

In 2009, then Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew at a public dialogue proudly told the audience that the Chinese had been sending teams of PRC officials to study Singapore for many years. To illustrate a lesson the Chinese learnt about Singapore’s political system, he said:

“They (delegates from China) discover that the People’s Action Party (PAP) has only a small office in Bedok. But everywhere they go, they see the PAP – in the RCs (residents’ committees), CCCs (citizens’ consultative committees), and the CCs (community clubs).” – Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, The Straits Times 30 December 2009.

And of course, RCs, CCCs and CCs are grassroots organizations (GROs) which come under PA.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Latest posts

Election surprises and certainties: Dissecting Tharman’s presidential win

In the 2023 Presidential Election, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam secured a stunning 70.4% landslide victory, surprising many, including himself. Despite expectations that TKL would win the opposition votes, voters from both camps showed a preference for Tharman's charisma and perceived competency. As Singapore reflects on the outcome, questions arise about the election's fairness and the real implications of Tharman's dominant win.

Volunteer as a Polling and Counting Agent for Singapore’s 2023 Presidential Election

For the upcoming Singapore Presidential Election on 1st September, members of the civil society have spearheaded an initiative to strengthen our democratic fabric. We invite committed individuals to join us as Polling and Counting Agents, standing together for a transparent, fair, and just election. This vote counting exercise, organized by members of civil society, is not specifically in support of Mr Tan Kin Lian, a candidate in the upcoming Presidential Election. It's an exercise in active citizenry. Nonetheless, Mr Tan endorses this initiative, which hinges on his candidacy, championing transparency, and has given permission for the results to be shared publicly.

Reflections from the Centenary: The Legacy of LKY and Singapore’s Future

Gilbert Goh reflects on the LKY centenary event: an inspiring showcase of a leader's global legacy juxtaposed against current challenges, urging Singapore to continue its path of progress.

Lim Tean advocates for Tan Kin Lian: A visionary leader for Singapore’s Presidency

In his speech at Mr Tan Kin Lian's launch of his presidential bid, Mr Lim Tean passionately championed the need for a truly Independent President. Highlighting Mr Tan Kin Lian's unique credentials and genuine concern for the wellbeing of Singaporeans, the Peoples Voice leader emphasized the pressing challenges of rising living costs and job insecurities faced by the public. Mr Lim depicted Mr Tan Kin Lian as a beacon of hope for the nation, advocating for a leader who genuinely understands and represents the people’s aspirations.

Tan Jee Say endorses Tan Kin Lian for President: A courageous, genuine, and humble...

In advocating for a truly representative leader, Tan Jee Say underscored Tan Kin Lian's humility, courage, and genuine dedication. Highlighting the pressing need for restored public trust and effective independence, Tan Jee Say emphasized that Tan Kin Lian, as the 'People's President', would bring back hope to Singaporeans and champion true democracy

Tan Kin Lian’s pledge: Rekindling unity and charting a vigorous future for Singapore

In the press conference to announce his bid for the Singapore presidency, Tan Kin Lian emphasizes safeguarding Singapore's reserves and strengthening public service integrity. Drawing on his 30-year leadership at NTUC Income, he envisions a future with affordable living, accessible housing, and job stability, pledging collaboration with the government for a united nation.

Strengthening Singapore’s political foundations: A call to action by Leong Mun Wai on Singapore’s...

Leong Mun Wai urges Singaporeans to strengthen political checks and balances, emphasizing, 'The best is yet to be for Singapore if we dare to make the right decision in upcoming elections.

Trending posts