Png the troubleshooter

In Accounting, Corporate governance on 25/09/2015 at 4:43 am

But first: when I read the following extract

“This is very much (Mr Low’s) style, he wants to give residents as much face time as possible, and they are also willing to wait to speak to him,” said Ms Ivy Tan, who has been helping out at the Bedok Reservoir-Punggol division since 2012. As such, their MPS often stretch past 11pm.

Mr Chen Show Mao (Paya Lebar) and Mr Muhamad Faisal Manap (Kaki Bukit), meanwhile, set up several stations at their MPS, which are manned by party activists who help to interview residents, transcribe their cases and draft relevant letters..

I couldn’t help but wonder about PritamS style of looking after his constituents. I read the article several times and couldn’t the answer.

Ah well.

Have you noticed that in the last few months, Png Eng Huat is the man beside Auntie, when it came to AHPETC matters? Before that it was always Auntie (chairperson) and Pritam (Both Png anf Pritam are vice-chairpersons). But ever since after the AGO’s report was published, it has been Png beside Auntie. Seems he has been tasked to sort out the mess created by the lack of oversight.


What did the Auditor-General’s report say?
The report found five key lapses in the AHPETC’s accounts:
1. Lack of governance over transactions with related parties;
2. Poor monitoring of S&CC arrears;
3. Poor record and accounting system;
4. Non-compliance with rules on sinking fund;
5. Insufficient internal controls


The PAP had bayed and howled for the the WP to “come clean” (produce the documents), or if the WP was really concerned about its finances, it bring a forensic accountant to reconstruct the accounts. Pritam retorted that they needn’t answer to Parliament, but to residents.

There was  no production of the documents (AWOL? MIA?), and no forensic audit (Too expensive? Concerned about the probable findings?). Instead Png worked with the AHPETC’s auditors and another newly appointed accountant to sort out the mess. The end result was that Auntie could write in the report to the 2014/ 2015 report:

AHPETC has continued to improve its financial processes and management.

AHPETC has cleared most of the disclaimers from the previous annual audits. The remaining observations relate mainly to opening balance issues for which there are still information gaps and legacy issues. There are still areas to work on. AHPETC will continue to improve its financial management.

Still even by the WP’s admission, there’s plenty of work to be done. And the use of the word “mainly” gives the lie to the claim that it’s all the fault of the PAP and PA. Makes one wonder if the WP is afraid of what a forensic audit will uncover?

Never mind the PAP may still force one.

  1. If you want the sound credible, please also provide your thoughts about the PA’s ‘adverse comments’ by the auditors made over several years!

  2. BTW PA wasn’t the only one, I recall the Parks and Recreation vis a vis Gardens By The Bay. I recall the auditor’s comment casting doubts about certain dealings to the effect of whether govt has received proper value for funds used and also authorization of certain transactions had been backdated after the fact. I don’t know about you, but these are serious financial misdemeanors, smacking of fraud and even corrupt behaviour, they are not merely administrative lapses. Was there any thorough going over these occurrences by a neutral party? We had been asked to accept what Khaw and company had said, but not when it came to the assurance by the AHPETC that lapses are being looked into.

    As for PA, Lim SS simply made a claim that the issues have been resolved and that’s that. Not a word of unhappiness or to probe the matter from the rest of the PAP MPs. Understandable, of course, because its ‘ka ki nang’, lah. Furthermore, it is mighty ‘strange’ that even though a very high percentage of the sampled grass root organisations audited revealed anomalies/lapses it was allowed to pass without anyone crying for a deeper look into even more of the grass root organizations to verify the extent of the problem and lapses. How would you describe this? What do you attribute this to?

    Then there is also the AIM saga.

    And also the Hougang hawker centre cleaning fisaco.

    My point is not so much about the lapses, that is not denied by WP, but the deliberate and unrelenting doggedness of the PAP, as in Khaw Boon Wan, making a capital case of it and with all the wayang of withholding AHPETC’s grant (hurting the residents) and going to court dragging it over 2 years. The display of zeal to pin down AHPETC is clearly an orchestrated political drama to discredit the WP for the purpose of the GE which only the PAP knew when it was going to be held.

    The hypocrisy, double standard and political skulduggery played out in parliament and outside by the PAP using the compliant and govt owned mass media, the only ones allowed to operate here, would have a more politically astute public, in other parts of the 1st world, screaming and up in arms against such blatant bullying. But not in this little red dot where 70% apparently couldn’t distinguish between the respective performances of the two Lees, then and now.

    • So you are juz another “PAP is always bad” sheep. This blog not for you.

      You go find me a govt agency that has AGO or auditor say accounts not fit for p-purpose.

      Even for its own limited audit, the AGO complained that it couldn’t get enough information from AHPETC, just as AHPETC’s own auditors have said, to give the accounts a clean bill of health. But it was confident enough, based on what it had seen, to say that the payment processes left much to be desired. Whether this led to overpayment or money missing, it couldn’t tell because there was simply not enough documentation for it to draw any conclusion.

      “The Town Council despite repeated requests, did not provide us with all the critical documents relating to these transactions. As a result, we were unable to determine if the TC had properly considered potential conflicts of interest that arose when awarding contracts to related parties. Based on the documents that have been provided, full disclosures did not appear to have been made, and proper procedures undertaken before award of contract. In addition, control gaps in the payment processes exposed AHPETC to the risks that payments might not be fully justified or properly computed,” the AGO report said.

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