Financial statements from AHTC submitted to Parliament

AHTC has until today to tell the the HDB if it will appoint a third party to recover improper payments made in the past.
AHTC has until today to tell the the HDB if it will appoint a third party to recover improper payments made in the past.PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Audited statements submitted on Oct 21 after errors were corrected, says MND

The audited financial statements of the Workers' Party-run town council have been submitted to Parliament, after errors were corrected, said the Ministry of National Development (MND) yesterday.

The Aljunied-Hougang Town Council had first submitted the statements for the financial year 2014 to the MND in August last year, but they were not presented to Parliament until Oct 21 this year as they contained errors.

In its statement, the MND said the errors were in the "notes to the accounts", the series of notes the financial statements refer to.

An operating grant for service and conservancy charges (S&CC), which the town council got for the financial year, was also left out of the statements, it added.

MND said the statements were finalised "after some months of iterations with the town council" over the "errors and reporting inconsistencies" and the omission of the grant.

An extensive report by independent auditor KPMG identified as improper about $6.9 million in past payments made by the town council. These include overpayments and payments without proper certification of work being done, among other things.

But it added that "there are no changes to the disclaimers by the town council's auditor in the finalised financial statements".

The auditor had given a qualified opinion on the statements, with disclaimers in three areas: the town council's opening balances, S&CC owed by residents, as well as S&CC residents had paid in advance.

This means the auditor was unable to obtain the necessary evidence to certify the financial statements as either accurate or inaccurate due to a lack of proper records and procedures in place.

Meanwhile, AHTC has until today to respond to the Housing Board letter asking if it will appoint a third party to recover improper payments made in the past. It has not done so as of press time yesterday.

An extensive report by independent auditor KPMG identified as improper about $6.9 million in past payments made by the town council.

These include overpayments and payments without proper certification of work being done, among other things.

The authorities have asked AHTC to take steps to recover the money, with HDB sending the town council a letter last Friday to ask if it will appoint a suitable third party "to recover the monies which have been lost".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2016, with the headline 'Financial statements from AHTC submitted to Parliament'. Print Edition | Subscribe