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HDB shares facts on AHTC, says, “crux of the issue therefore is the lack of integrity in the use of public funds”

Financial probity and integrity are core issues that cannot be compromised said the HDB




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In a revelation on social media, the Housing Development Board (HDB) shared some facts from the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) case, following the High Court judgement (October 11).

The HDB shared three facts from the case and added that, “The crux of the issue therefore is the lack of integrity in the use of public funds through actions that the Court has described as “machinations” . Financial probity and integrity are core issues that cannot be compromised”.

The board shared that, “First, the Court itself said that some of the town councillors “had not acted honestly” and they had “painted a misleading narrative” to the public.

The Court found that their conduct was “egregious” and “inexcusable”. The end-result was that public funds have been misused to overpay for works done by FMSS.

Second, the Court also found that there was a clear plan to replace CPG, regardless of the intentions of CPG. The tender was waived even though there was no urgency to do so. To ensure that FMSS obtained these contracts, the FMSS owners were even asked to draft and “sanitise” the report on FMSS’s appointment.

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Third, the value of the contracts which have been improperly awarded is in the millions. The compensation that is due to the Town Councils will be determined at the next stage of the court proceedings. Based on the report provided by the Court-Appointed independent Auditor KPMG, this amount could be substantial”.

Workers’ Party (WP) Parliamentarians Low Thia Khiang, Sylvia Lim and Pritam Singh were found liable for damages in a case that investigated misuse of town council funds.

Between July 2011 and July 2015, the AHTC paid at least S$33.7 million to their town council managing agent FM Solutions & Services (FMSS), which was appointed without tender.

Mr Low was the secretary-general of the WP while Ms Lim had chaired AHTC, and Mr Pritam served as a member of the town council’s committee for tenders and contracts.

It is unlikely that the judgment will affect their position as MPs, as it arises from civil proceedings. The MPs can decide whether to appeal against the verdict. /TISG

Read related: Pritam Singh, Sylvia Lim and Low Thia Khiang ‘will continue work in earnest’ even after being found liable for damages suffered by AHTC

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