In a press release, the Ministry of National Development (MND) said that all town councils (TCs) except for Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC), have submitted their audited FY15/16 financial statements and that these have been presented to Parliament.
TCs are required by law to submit their audited financial statements to the Minister for National Development, for presentation to Parliament. AHTC had asked for an extension on 12 Aug, citing “outstanding issues to resolve with its auditor”. MND then asked AHTC to indicate a timeframe for the completion of its FY15/16 audit and is awaiting the TC’s response.
AHTC chairman Pritam Singh said that since their auditor, KPMG, is finalising a draft report to determine if any of AHTC’s past payments were improper, it “would not be helpful” to give a date for submitting the financial documents.
“We do not anticipate this to significantly affect the town council’s audit of its financial statements for FY15/16. However, as a matter of prudence and professionalism, our auditor would inevitably have to peruse this report carefully before signing off,” he said.
Mr Singh explained that “significant resources” were being devoted to KPMG’s reviews of its financial processes and past payments, to explain the late submission. AHTC also cited its attendance to queries from the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council’s (PRPTC) accountants and MND’s late approval of its auditors as other reasons for the late submission. It later published a timeline of events leading to the appointment of its external auditors.
Besides the statements submitted for the 2014/2015 financial year, AHTC had submitted all such statements late since it won Aljunied GRC in 2011.
MND said that the delay by AHTC in finalising its financial statements has also impacted PRPTC, which received a qualification on its financial statements. According to PRPTC’s auditor, the report was qualified solely because it was not able to confirm the accuracy of the amounts due from AHTC for the Punggol East Single Member Constituency.
Aside from this matter, PRPTC had no audit observations with regard to the rest of the PRPTC accounts. The other 14 TCs received unqualified reports for their FY15/16 financial statements.