AHTC awards contract for new accounting system

The town council run by the Workers' Party (WP) has awarded a contract for a new accounting system that it says will help address critical lapses which were flagged by an ongoing independent review.

Aljunied Hougang Town Council (AHTC) chairman Pritam Singh, announcing this in a Facebook post yesterday, said it has been an "uplifting last couple of days" at the town council, with the awarding of the contract for the $750,000 accounting system.

He added that it "marks an important objective in working to reset fundamental control and reporting related issues at the town council".

The contract was awarded to Anacle Systems, one of two companies that tendered for the job.

Accounting firm KPMG, appointed by AHTC to look into its books, had said in its latest report that the systemic problems at the town council can be fixed only if town councillors "reset the tone at the top of AHTC" to emphasise competence and accountability.

In the report, released by the WP on July 20, KPMG said that it had found "pervasive" lapses in the past five years at the town council that spanned governance, financial control, procurement and records, among others.

Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam, responding on July 23 to the findings, had criticised WP leaders for not showing integrity in managing their town council's finances and fixing lapses.

He had called on the party's six elected MPs to come clean on the millions in irregular payments which KPMG had flagged.

The report is part of KPMG's ongoing scrutiny of AHTC's governance and finances, in the wake of a special audit by the Auditor- General's Office.

The accounting firm is also reviewing past payments made by the town council to determine if these were improper.

Mr Singh said yesterday that AHTC will continue to look for "experienced and steady hands" for its finance department as part of efforts to address issues.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 31, 2016, with the headline 'AHTC awards contract for new accounting system'. Print Edition | Subscribe