SINGAPORE: The Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) will award the contract for a new Town Council Accounting System "shortly", it said late on Wednesday night (Jul 20).
In a media release, AHTC chairman Pritam Singh said the Workers' Party-run town council has noted KPMG's recommendations relating to its finance department and internal control procedures. The new Town Council Accounting System is among three priorities AHTC will undertake to improve governance and oversight.
Mr Singh said AHTC would also seek to appoint more professionals with relevant financial experience to serve in Finance and Investment and Audit Committees "to strengthen the control environment and to facilitate more active oversight of the Finance Department".
Additionally, the town council will appointment an internal auditor "to provide independent assurance that AHTC’s risk management, governance and internal control processes are operating effectively". The internal auditor will report directly to the Audit Committee, Mr Singh said, adding that this is a recommendation by KPMG.
The announcement comes after KPMG issued its fourth monthly progress report to AHTC. The Supreme Court had ordered the Town Council to nominate a Big Four accounting firm to go through its accounts and help fix accounting and governance lapses at the former Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council. After the General Election in 2015, the single-seat ward of Punggol East was returned to the People's Action Party, giving rise to AHTC.
Mr Singh added on Wednesday that the latest report marks the completion of KPMG's recommendations on the steps that AHTC must undertake to remedy issues flagged in the Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) audit of 2014 and AHTC’s statutory audits for Financial Year-End 2014 and 2015.
"AHTC notes KPMG’s findings on the measures it would have to undertake to remedy the Audit Points and Control Failures, which have been summarised in the July report. AHTC accepts all the recommendations in full," Mr Singh stated.
AHTC Members of Parliament will immediately lead an exercise to review the key areas of governance, financial control, financial reporting, procurement and records management, he added.