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“Disclaimer of opinion” more severe than “qualified opinion”: MND on auditors' report

The Ministry of National Development (MND) has said the "disclaimer of opinion" expressed by the independent auditors for Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council's latest financial statements is more severe than a "qualified opinion".

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of National Development (MND) has said the "disclaimer of opinion" expressed by the independent auditors for Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council's latest financial statements is more severe than a "qualified opinion".

"Disclaimers of opinion" are issued by auditors when they refuse to sign off on financial statements completely, due to lack of information.

Chairman of the Workers' Party-run Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC), Sylvia Lim, had said that the auditors had given a "qualified" but not "adverse" report.

She said that in a statement on Friday in response to a report by its independent auditors that raised concerns over the town council's latest financial statements for the financial year ended March 31, 2013.

In a statement on Friday evening, the ministry said the auditors raised 13 issues of concern.

Four of them had been raised before, and the town council had assured MND last year that most had been rectified.

But the auditors' latest report has shown that this is not the case.

The remaining nine issues of concern raised by the auditors were new issues.

Those issues include the town council not transferring funds into its Sinking Funds, and the town council not making available information to the auditors details of project management service fees paid to a related party.

MND said such failures are not related to handover issues.  

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