By: Leong Sze Hian
AMK Town Council general manager under CPIB probe
It states that “a general manager and secretary of Ang Mo Kio Town Council is under investigation by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) for “the way he handles contracts and dealings in the town council”. The general manager and secretary, Mr Victor Wong, works for CPG Facilities Management. He has been put on forced leave.”
Conflict of interest?
Isn’t it a conflict of interest for an employee of the town council’s managing agent to be also the general manager and secretary of the town council?
After reading the subject news article – as a resident of Aljunied town council – I googled “aljunied town council conflict of interest secretary managing agent” and found the following:-
Same conflicts of interest flagged by Aljunied’s auditor?
“These were among several improper payments that the town council made to managing agent FM Solutions and Services (FMSS) and service provider FM Solutions and Integrated Services (FMSI), said KPMG.
Such improper payments were made in a situation where there were “control failures” and conflicts of interest, as the shareholders of the two companies were holding key management positions in the town council.
These include a failure to address serious conflicts of interest and a lack of meaningful oversight by town councillors, it added.
KPMG identified six FMSS shareholders who held key management posts in AHTC, such as secretary, general manager, and finance manager – creating a conflict of interest” (“AHTC failed to address conflicts of interest, says independent auditor KPMG” (Straits Times, Nov 7).
Why same conflict of interest in Ang Mo Kio?
In view of the the independent auditor, KPMG’s report on Aljunied town council regarding “serious conflicts of interest” – why do we have similar conflicts of interest in Ang Mo Kio town council?
Other town councils also have conflicts of interest?
Are there such conflicts of interest in the other town councils as well?
No action, talk only (NATO (about others))?
If so, what actions have such town councils taken, given that KPMG flagged such “serious conflicts of interest” in town councils?
For how long already?
How long have these conflicts of interest been going on?
GM replacement also same conflict of interest?
The Town Council has appointed another employee of CPG, Mr Lim Kian Chiong, as an acting general manager of the town council, but why are we still continuing to have such similar conflicts of interest?
Do town council councilors understand the meaning of “conflicts of interest”?
Mr Ang Hin Kee, MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC said, “if there are declarations to be made, if there are interests to declare, the people involved (must) make those declarations”. But do town councilors understand the meaning of “conflicts of interest”?
Mr Ang also assured residents that the MPs of the GRC do personally check on projects performed by its contractors to ensure oversight, but isn’t all these kind of superfluous when ‘serious conflicts of interest’ are already inherent and embedded in the town council system?