AHTC's financial statements presented to Parliament

MND has presented to Parliament the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council's audited financial statements for the financial year ending March 2016, as required by law.
MND has presented to Parliament the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council's audited financial statements for the financial year ending March 2016, as required by law. ST PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of National Development (MND) has presented to Parliament the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council's (AHTC) audited financial statements for the financial year ending March 2016, as required by law.

The ministry said in a statement on Wednesday (April 12) that AHTC had submitted these statements on Feb 24, nearly six months after the deadline of Aug 31, 2016, for all town councils.

As several reporting discrepencies were discovered, MND later wrote to AHTC to have them corrected. The finalised statements were submitted after two rounds of amendments, said MND.

It added that this is the fifth consecutive year that AHTC's financial statements were qualified by its external auditor.

The auditor issued disclaimers in the areas of the town council's opening balances, conservancy and service fees received in advance, payables and accrued expenses, as well as staff costs.

It also flagged several instances of non-compliance with the Town Councils Act and Town Councils Financial Rules, as with AHTC's financial statements for the 2014 financial year, said the MND.

Among the issues identified was the failure to transfer funds into the Sinking Fund bank account in a timely manner, as required under Rule 4(2B)(a) of the Town Councils Financial Rules, said the MND adding that similar observations had been made by AHTC's auditor for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 financial years.

AHTC also did not ensure that money from the Sinking Fund was used for the correct purposes as required under the rules, MND added.

Another issue the auditor highlighted, was the town council's failure to include a debarment statement in its invitations for quotations and tenders.

Such a statement makes clear that contracts will not be awarded to contractors debarred by the Government from participating in the same type of contracts, or all contracts, unless there are special reasons. It also applies if the contractors have directors or employees who are debarred.