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10 Government Agencies, Millions in Question: The Definitive Guide to Lapses Found by the AGO Audit

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Laxity, conflicts of interest, and even suspected corruption.

These issues were highlighted in the Attorney General’s Chambers latest audit.

Here’s 10 government agencies found to have lapses:

National Parks (which falls under the purview of the Ministry of National Development)

Gardens by the Bay project saw S$20 million of contracts awarded through a waiver of competition, breaching the government procurement principle of open and fair competition for consultancy services contracts and there was no assurance that value for money was achieved for the services procured.

On one project, one consultant was allowed to begin work worth S$2.37 million before approval. Only that particular consultant was invited to bid for the tender.

On 43 occasions, only one quote was obtained for various projects. On 12 occasions, no approval was given for 12 variation orders.

Infocomm Development Authority

Without obtain approval, used funds totalling S$9.3 million from the Ministry of Communications and Information and the Ministry of Finance for two projects for the revamp of the Science Centre’s Hall of IT Exhibition and the development of the Singapore e-Government Leadership Centre.

People’s Association

Numerous errors and omissions in the updating of disbursements from the Citizens’ Consultative Committee ComCare Fund, leading to the PA obtaining excess funding from the Social and Family Development Ministry amounting to S$84,394 over two years.

Admiralty CCC chairman was found to have approved his own claims, amounting to $114,767, on seven occasions.

Ministry of Health

Overpayment of S$2.07 million between FY2010/11 and FY2012/13, due to errors in the computation of rental subvention to Restructured Hospitals and Institutions.

Prime Minister’s Office

A repeat of a lapse first raised by the AGO in 2011/2012. This time, the prices of two overseas event held in 2013 and 2014 totalling to S$1.51 million were not checked if they were reasonable.  61 percent (S$1.47 million) of variation works for the 2013 event were not approved.

Ministry of Education

Flagged for lapses regarding the administration of grants, with a total of S$232,900 in Advanced Elective Module grants allocated to eight schools between January 2011 to August 2013. The money was not used but retained by the schools in a common pool of funds,  which could result in the use of such grants for purposes not intended under the scheme. No proper mechanisms to track their use and to recover any excess “shows laxity in compliance with MOE’s instructions, and weak management of public funds, said the AGO.

Singapore Polytechnic was allowed to sublease a 7,189 metre square piece of land to its Graduates’ Guild for S$12 a year since October 2000. SP had leased the land from the Land Office for S$2.19 million for 30 years. SP also failed to recover some S$1.2 mil for the secondment of its a senior officer on its staff to a subsidiary, Singapore Polytechnic International from 2010 to 2014.

ITE: A 613 square metre piece of land was subleased at S$13 per square metre a month, which is half of the market rate to ITE Education Services. 35% of ITE invoices also show under-billing, over-billing and late billing.

National Library Board (which falls under the Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts)

Regarding its procurment of electronic resources such as ebooks and databases. In all seven cases of procurement, the AGO could find no documentary evidence why NLB chose one vendor over another. Its subscription to a e-resource was also renewed twice, even though its evaluators had recommended termination, and NLB’s own guidelines found usage too low to justify renewing.

National Research Fund

Found to be lax in reviewing a majority of progress reports submitted by grant recipients, and in taking follow-up action when projects didn’t meet specified milestones. The amount of grant money disbursed as of the end of 2013: S$301.2 million

Workforce Development Agency

Over-disbursements of grants totalling S$170,100, and delays in recovery of unused grants estimated at S$461,000.

Did not ensure that its partners adhered to audit requirements for the use of grants.

Instutitional Grants and the Age Management Grant – programme partner failed to properly verify the applicants’ eligibility for the grants, totalling S$0.98 million, didn’t not enforce programme requirements on the grant participants, and did not adhere to funding caps.

Jurong Town Corporation, International Cruise Terminal (overseen by the Ministry of Trade)

Some 87 percent of the variation orders were not approved.

Payment of the variations were S$340,000 higher than contractual rate.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Megan

    April 20, 2016 at 10:48 am

    this news is so unfair to thousand or maybe millions of citizens who are struggling to survive in this city……..where is accountability???

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