Up to S$13.9m in tolls under-collected by LTA: AGO

Up to S$13.9m in tolls under-collected by LTA: AGO

The Auditor-General's Office estimates that the under-collection of tolls could be about 21.9 per cent of the total collected for the financial year 2014/15.

SINGAPORE: The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has "weak" control over the collection of tolls at the Woodlands and Tuas Checkpoints such that there could be potential loss of revenue, the Auditor-General's Office (AGO) said in its report for FY2015/16.

The AGO estimated that the under-collection could be about S$13.93 million for FY2014/15 or about 21.9 per cent of the total amount of toll collected for the financial year.

A site audit found that there was "no effective system at the immigration booths to ensure that vehicles were allowed to pass through only after the applicable fees were paid". While LTA did have certain measures in place to detect non-payment of fees, the AGO noted that these were ineffective as vehicles could still slip through without paying.

The Auditor-General said LTA has agreed that it needs to review controls and enforcement over revenue collection at both checkpoints and has told the AGO that it will enhance the system to address gaps in controls.

"UNDUE DELAY" IN FINALISATION OF AGREEMENT WITH CIRCLE LINE OPERATOR

Separately, the AGO also found that LTA has yet to enter into a Lease and Maintenance Agreement (LMA) on non-rail facilities and assets for the Circle Line (CCL) even though the operator - SMRT - had been granted more than six years ago. It was required to have entered into an LMA within 180 days of the effective date of the licence from May 2009.

The LMA contains information on the list of the land and stations handed over, the lease term, yearly rent and other payment requirements such as property tax.

"It is important for LTA to ensure that the agreement is promptly signed," said the AGO. "This will safeguard Government's interests in the use of resources handed over and enable effective enforcement of maintenance requirements and collection of related charges."

The AGO noted that as a result of this lapse, LTA had not recovered the property tax estimated to be S$960,000 from the operator for the CCL stations handed over.

LTA explained that the finalisation of the LMA was "interrupted by a number of events which resulted in negotiation between the parties having to be put on hold for some time and re-negotiations initiated based on new proposals", the AGO stated.

LTA has since signed the LMA with the Circle Line operator as of Apr 26 and recovered outstanding property tax of S$1.13 million in March, the AGO added.

Source: CNA/ly