SINGAPORE - The Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) has put in place measures to address three outstanding financial and governance problems flagged in past audits, but its independent accountant KPMG still has to test the efficacy of these plans.
The three areas have to do with: incorrect use of sinking funds; lack of disclosures, due diligence and assessment of potential conflicts of interest prior to awarding contracts to related parties; as well as untimely recording of lift repairs and upgrading expenses, and absence of guidelines for verification of works and issuance of work orders.
It will take three to six months to determine whether measures taken by AHTC to resolve these issues are effective, KPMG said in its ninth monthly report issued on Thursday (Dec 15).
Since the first report issued in April, AHTC has resolved three out of 17 audit points flagged in past audits with the help of KPMG, which it appointed to look into its books after the Auditor-General's Office found significant governance lapses in a special audit.
Another eight have measures in place that still have to be tested, while the remaining six have to be further reviewed by KPMG.
KPMG also said AHTC had transferred $3,785,956.76 to its sinking fund account, for the third quarter of this year. However it did so three days after the transfer deadline, on Nov 3.
AHTC said the transfer was late because a deputy finance manager had delayed getting authorised signatures, and the individual will leave the town council at the end of this month.
As for the 71 control failures at the Workers' Party-run town council that were identified by KPMG, 23 have been fully addressed, the same as the last month.
In a statement issued on Thursday night, AHTC chairman Pritam Singh said the town council will deploy the first phase of its new town council management system next month.
The accounting system costs $750,000, and the contract for it was awarded in July to Anacle System, one of two companies that bid for the tender.