Typo error treated in cavalier manner

I am glad there was no deliberate misreporting discovered in the Singapore Taekwondo Federation's annual reports, but I am saddened by the surreptitious way Sport Singapore (SportSG) dealt with this accounting lapse (Numbers in report of TKD federation checked, verified; Nov 23).

Based on its letter, SportSG appears to have informed and explained the situation to the whistle-blower, Mr Daniel Tay, without informing the public until Dr Tan Chew Wai wrote in as well (Govt must step in to audit TKD federation's finances; Nov 19).

I used to sit in the management committee of another national sports association (NSA), and I am aware that these associations receive some public funding.

Hence, typographical errors in financial reports are serious and should be a matter of public interest.

Treating such a serious matter as closed after a simple check suggests that SportSG does not take typo errors in financial reports seriously. It makes me wonder how high this cavalier attitude goes.

If SportSG does not audit an NSA after serious financial errors have been surfaced, then the Accountant-General's Department should.

I urge SportSG to take appropriate disciplinary actions against the individuals responsible for the error, and assure the public that such errors will not occur again.

The Government should send a strong signal that it does not condone sloppiness in the financial reporting of any organisation that receives taxpayers' money.

Thomas Thirusingam

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 27, 2018, with the headline 'Typo error treated in cavalier manner'. Print Edition | Subscribe