atans1

AHTC accounts: WP outsources decision to recover monies

In Corporate governance on 23/02/2017 at 7:45 am

AHTC chairman Pritam Singh said in a statement on Friday (Feb 17) that the Workers’ Party-run town council has been studying KPMG’s Past Payments Report since it was issued on Oct 31, 2016 and “while AHTC’s key officials have a different perspective from the audit team on key aspects of the report, AHTC believes that it is in the interests of AHTC and its residents to appoint an independent panel to review the findings and take such action as deemed appropriate to safeguard AHTC’s interests”.

CNA

So what will happen if the independent panel appointed to review the findings of a KPMG report agrees with the findings and recommendations of KPMG? KPMG said the town council had “serious flaws” in governnace and had made improper payments amounting to millions of dollars to third parties. It recommended that the amounts be recovered.


What else the report said

The KPMG report said the town council’s “failed control environment exposed public funds to the potential for misappropriation and civil or criminal breach of trust, and that the Town Council may potentially look to the Town Councillors for the recovery of losses arising from any breaches of their fiduciary duties”.

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The WP TC members would at the very least be shown to be a bunch of cocks who don’t do accounting.

So one assumes that the WP has a plan.

So are the WP TC members that confident they can get the independent committee to see things from the WP’s perspective?

Three professionals were appointed to the panel following consultation with HDB.They are panel chairman Philip Jeyaretnam SC, and members Mr N Sreenivasan SC and Mr Ong Pang Thye (managing partner of KPMG LLP).  The Court of Appeal also approved of the panel.

Interesting a man from KPMG is part of the team reviewing KPMG’s report.

Bit of ownself check ownself ain’t it?

So what weed are the WP TC members smoking? Do they really think the panel will say the findings and recommendations of the report are rubbish?

Maybe they have new information that they think will make the panel say that the report is no longer relevant in the light of the new info? Possible but not probable.

As I see it, the decision to get a “independent” panel to decide on the actions the AHTC has to take as regards the report  shows that the WP TC members have hoisted the white flag. They have no more room for manoeuvre, having run out of road. The TC members have to make the decision to start the recovery process, or explain why they are refusing to attempt recovery.

If the former, there will be unhappy suppliers and service providers who may have tales to tell. If the latter, the stench will get worse at the very least. It is likely that a “concerned” resident (Chen Show Moa?) living in the area would ask the courts to compel the WP TC to recover the monies.

At worse, a grass-root activist will sue the TC members in their personal capacity. The 15k a month each wanking MP gets will be insufficient recompense in such a event.

So better to get others to make the decision to recover monies. Can tell all those suppliers, “Not our decision leh.”

 

 

 

 

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  1. It’s a money issue. It’s a foregone conclusion that PAP intends to use the full extent of the law to force them to cough up the money as specified in the KPMG report. Currently it’s about $4.4M in total. I bet they’re trying to get it lowered, as some of the figures are based on assumptions e.g. assumption that the lowest historical bids for other constituencies could be applied to AHTC, assumption that AHTC could have gotten the lowest bid, assumption that those contractors would have even bothered to bid for AHTC’s tenders in the first place, etc. Many contractors would apply a risk premium to quotes for big jobs pertaining to Aljuneid / Punggol East after GE2011 — I know I would.

    PAPies see this as a good chance to re-create another JBJ moment if AHTC MPs are not able to pay up. Although I suspect the group as a whole would be able to pay up. But even so, I think this will destroy whatever cohesiveness left amongst them and effectively destroy them as a GRC team for any future GE.

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