AHTC to act on KPMG recommendations on Internal Controls; fourth KPMG monthly report on progress issued (Media Release 20 July 2016)

1. The Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (“AHTC”) submitted to the Housing and Development Board (“HDB”) on 20 July 2016 the fourth monthly progress report issued by KPMG to AHTC. This report was issued in accordance with the Court of Appeal judgment in Attorney-General vs AHPETC (Civil Appeal No. 114 of 2015) (the “Judgment”).

2. AHTC has made this report accessible in full (click here for the full report).

3. AHTC notes that this report marks the completion of KPMG’s recommendations on the steps that AHTC must undertake to remedy the Audit Points arising from the Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) audit of 2014 and AHTC’s statutory audits for Financial Year-End 2014 and 2015.

4. AHTC notes KPMG’s findings on the measures it would have to undertake to remedy the Audit Points and Control Failures, which have been summarized in the July report. AHTC accepts all the recommendations in full.

5. The AHTC Members of Parliament will immediately lead an exercise to review the key areas of governance, financial control, financial reporting, procurement and records management.

6. AHTC has noted KPMG’s recommendations relating to the Finance Department and internal control procedures generally. To this end, AHTC will pursue a three-pronged strategy to improve governance and oversight:

a. AHTC will review the work processes of the Town Council and in particular, the Finance and Investment and Audit Committees, to strengthen the control environment and to facilitate more active oversight of the Finance Department. Specifically, AHTC will seek to appoint more professionals with relevant financial experience to serve on these Committees;

b. Secondly, underpinning this strategy is the acquisition of a new Town Council Accounting System that was approved by the Town Council in November 2015. A tender for the new Town Council Accounting System has been called and AHTC will award the contract shortly. We expect the new system to facilitate and automate reporting of financial information; and

c. Finally, as recommended by KPMG, AHTC will appoint an internal auditor to provide independent assurance that AHTC’s risk management, governance and internal control processes are operating effectively. The internal auditor will also report directly to the Audit Committee.

7. In the meantime, KPMG’s work on the Past Payments Review aspect of their engagement continues. A separate Past Payments Review report is expected to be issued on or around 31 August 2016.

PRITAM SINGH
CHAIRMAN
ALJUNIED-HOUGANG TOWN COUNCIL

20 July 2016