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Auditor General’s Report – Millions Missing

Posted by theonlinecitizen on June 1, 2007

TOC Exclusive

The original Auditor General Office’s (AGO) audit of 12 Ministries and associated statutory boards has revealed irregularities to an extent not fully revealed by the recent Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

According to the AGO, losses of public monies added up to $6.2 million, a substantial amount of which is still unaccounted for.

The Auditor General’s preface to the report states that ‘This audit approach is not intended to reveal all errors and irregularities.’

In the report, the Ministry of Law lost a potential $77,666.64 safety deposit because its computer system could only register sums to the nearest dollar. It appears under the header ‘No $77,666.64 security deposit because of 36 cents’.

The report details how these millions were lost in a detailed account of mistakes and dubious practices.

The Ministry of Home Affairs, for example, charged rental far below the market rate, forgoing $2.38 million that should have gone into state coffers. The Ministry of Law, in addition to the 36 cent mistake, left our public funds $386,829 poorer by failing to implement rental increase. This was described as an ‘oversight’.

The list goes on.

The Ministry of Manpower delayed collecting a $501,998 debt for a grand total of 15 years. When it decided to finally recover the sum of money, the company disputed the debt owed but the Ministry did not have the necessary paperwork to ‘substantiate the debt’. National Development lost us $228,000 in foregone rental, and Trade and Industry overpaid $1.87m in grants to a statutory board (since recovered).

The largest outstanding sum identified was the Ministry of Health: $136.2 million for Phase III of the National University Hospital development project has still not been recovered despite having been completed in 1996.

More questions than answers

The report raises more questions than it answers. Procurement irregularities are unexplained: a National Development contract was awarded for an eighth ranking bid (in terms of price) out of 11 without any justification. Further, the officers signing the contracts were not authorized to do so. Under the column ‘subsequent action’, all that is said is that the Ministry ‘streamlined procurement procedures…which would prevent such lapses from recurring’. Not even an ex post facto explanation about the dubious procurement.

The ‘subsequent action’ detailed for other irregularities and mistakes do not offer much elaboration. In the case of the Ministry of Manpower’s half a million dollar mistake that spanned 15 years, it gave assurances that ‘levy debts will be resolved within a much shorter time frame in future’ and that ‘future relevant documents’ would be retained.

TOC Opinion

Theonlinecitizen (TOC) recently reproduced in full the report by the Public Accounts Committee (here), convened by Parliament to scrutinize irregularities highlighted by the Auditor General’s report for financial year 05-06. It gave few concrete figures to highlight the irregularities it was pointing out.

TOC has obtained a copy of the original AGO report, which gives a far more comprehensive overview of the scope of the irregularities. This is reproduced in full (see below). We hope that members of the public will step forward to scrutinize the report and ask the necessary questions of our public servants.

In light of the limited scope of the Auditor-General’s report, we believe that the public deserves a more thorough audit of its public offices. Further, action needs to be taken to examine why these mistakes occurred in the first place: What are the fundamental causes of these lapses? Is it systemic or is it just incompetence on the part of the departments involved?

What were the consequences of these multi-million dollar mistakes?

This report can either be swept under the carpet to the further detriment of the credibility of the media and our government, or it can serve as a reference point for a new era in government transparency and accountability.

We hope the latter will prevail.

From the Auditor General Office’s website:

“Non-compliances with procedures in the use of public funds are signs of weak internal controls. As audits are done on a test check basis, the weaknesses found could be an indication of more widespread problems. Many frauds, big or small, occurred because the weak controls were exploited. Weak controls involving small amounts could also be exploited resulting in larger losses. In the Report of the Auditor-General for the Financial Year 2005/06, individual cases of loss of public moneys were mostly small but these collectively amounted to $6.2 million. (Link)

You can view a copy of the Auditor General’s report as follows (pdf file):

Part 1 – The cover and content list
Part 2 – Introduction
Part 3 – Main report
Part 4 – Main report (cont’d)

Please visit also the Auditor General’s Office website for some FAQs.

Please do send us your views/articles on this issue. Our email address is theonlinecitizen@gmail.com

Choo Zheng Xi
Co-editor, theonlinecitizen

*Check out Mr Wang’s entry on the EDB : EDB Under Scrutiny

 

Brief Summary Of Auditor General’s Report

Ministry of Community, Youth & Sports
Signing contracts without authority

Ministry of Defence
Three cases of procurement irregularities Under-collection of Goods and Services Tax

Ministry of Finance
Weak access controls in computer systems

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Exposure to fraudulent payments

Ministry of Health
Delay in recovering $136.2 million
Five-year delay in finalizing transfer of $40 million of assets

Ministry of Home Affairs
Government revenue not paid into consolidated fund

Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts
Unfair payment practice Wrong information in government accounting system
Irregularities in procurement of video production services costing $90,000

Ministry of Law
No $77,666.64 security deposit because of 36 cents Certification by permanent secretary not accurate
Long delay in debt recovery

Ministry of National Development
Waiving fee without authority
Officers signing contracts not authorized to do so

Ministry of Environment and Water Resources
$527,819 written off in audited statement without authority

Ministry of Trade and Industry
Inaccurate records of unutilized grants
Recovery of $2mil paid from grants not promptly refunded to govt
$540,300 interest not promptly recovered and accounted for as govt revenue

Multi Ministry – Loss of public moneys

Defence
– Doubtful claims by staff
Finance
– Overpayment of bills
Health
– Overpayment for training programme
Health
– Overpayment of rental subsidy
Home Affairs
– Charging rental below market rate
MICA
– Fees not paid into consolidated fund
MICA
– Rental not charged
Law
– Under-collection of rental
Manpower
– Uncollectible foreign workers levy debt
National Devt
– Rental not charged
Trade & Industry
– Overpayment of grants to statutory board
ACRA
– Failure to bill $346,603
IRAS
– Weak access controls in computer systems
MAS
– 5 year delay in resolving inadequacies in investment accounting system
MAS
– Payment to wrong bank account
HSA
– Weak access controls in computer systems
HSA
– Weakness in financial controls
IDA
– Weak access controls in computer systems
CPF
– Undue delay in paying insurance claims
NPB
– Weakness in payroll control
NPB
– Undue delay in recovering liquidated damages
EDB
– Governance structure and practice
IE Singapore
– Missing fixed assets
SDC
– Deficiencies in procedures for land sales
SDC
– Weak access controls in computer systems
SDC
– Errors in accounting of govt grants

 

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37 Responses to “Auditor General’s Report – Millions Missing”

  1. Wah lau eh said

    Wah lau eh!

    IE Singapore – “Missing fixed assets”. Fixed assets also can go missing?????

  2. at82 said

    李登辉针对他在演讲中谈到政治家有以掌握权力为目的者和以做事为目的指出,前者以个人利益为主,是亚洲国家常见的「亚洲价值」,往往拥有权力后以家庭、亲戚和个人利益为目的。他对这种作法全面加以否定,强调权力者应为公众而非为个人而努力。

    http://realtime.zaobao.com/2007/06/070601_32.html

  3. 1st World Meh?! said

    Gee… Should we dock the ministers’ pay?

  4. theory said

    Strange, why only now? I don’t recall something so dramatic in history before…

  5. KiWeTO said

    sorry to douse the flames,

    but is the total sum materially significant against the backdrop of total number of transactions, or total $value of transactions?

    yes, its a big number, and yes, its more money than most of us will ever see in a lifetime.

    But if each citizen was willing to forgo s$3 overseas due to his own mistakes, would we have not also lost the same amount of money as a nation?
    (presuming 2.15m citizens, not residents.)

    Its nice ammunition for shooting the ruling party, just don’t expect it to be a magic bullet.

    😉

    E.o.M.

  6. It is not a magic bullet but a kink in the armor of the blind trust that the PAP insists on us having in their government and their ability to decide exclusively what is best for Singapore and how the country should be run.

    I fear this unchecked trust. This “let’s take government for granted because the PAP will solve all our problems”. The “there are no checks and balances to ensure my rights to let’s say due process of the law but i am not worried because the PAP government will take care of me”.

    Plenty of people talk about their perspectives on “government mistakes” but this report is an irrefutable piece of evidence. This report shows that they’re human. They make mistakes. They don’t score on every question and are not infallible. Perhaps it is best that the PAP government not act like it does and institute checks and balances. The trust should not be blind.

    And Singaporeans need to know the danger of such unchecked faith.

    This should not be a reason to rush our and crucify the PAP government along with its administrative service. This should lead to the country to find it okay that their leaders make mistakes and for the leaders to get off from their pedestal and accept that they may not be the one with all the answers. This humility and acceptance may be all we need to start the kind of political climate that inspires.

  7. TrueSinHorrorStories said

    OMG!
    A real horror to read. Some are very obvious fraudulent incidents with coverups, with the addition of negligence and staff with severe eye problems.

    You can really laugh at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs making this pathetic scapegoat of an officer to admit his “error of judgement” that some order of goods were delivered on 28 Mar 2006 for which payment was made on 30 Mar 2006 when the Auditor was on site to audit the supposedly delivered goods on 3 Apr 2006 and it turned out that the goods could only be produced some 6 hours later on the day the Auditor was there (pg 26 of Main Report Part 3).

    Frankly, I am not sure whether to laugh or to cry or worry sick at what people in positions of power are capable of given this audit observation.

    I am really interested to know what investigation and action is taken to look into the matter of Sentosa Development Corp selling 24 land parcels to ONE SINGLE sole tenderer “significantly below valuation” (item 108 on page 13 of Main Report Part 4).

    And I have not finished scrutinizing the report yet; merely flipping through.

    Not to mention the type of responses the Ministries & Board offers to the AGO. Phrases like “put in place measures/ controls”, “will review” etc etc….offer no specific details of actions taken. There was even 1 remark about rebuking the staff’s tardiness to make or record some payments.

    Plus so many cases of delayed payment to poor suppliers from anytime more than 6 months upto above 1 year!!!

    Really an auditor’s nightmare…and the people of Singapore too!!!

    What do you think? Are these people worth the millions of Singapore Dollars of taxpayers’ money?

  8. Durai said

    That is Peanuts lah

  9. KiWeTO said

    t’wasn’t Durai who said it was peanuts.

    T’was the neigh-untouchable in public-circles wife of a minister.

    The question we have to ask is –

    are we going to see our representatives (from political leaders to civil service personnel) as fellow humans who can fail, or superhumans that can never do wrong?

    No matter how perfect a leadership in acing every little test, or sailing through every exam, the reality of life is that perfection might be too hard to attain. In lieu of perfect decision making or the illusion of being perfect decision makers, perhaps a move towards true transparency in government will be better at replacing the now violated trust of blind faith.

    Will we wake up?

    E.o.M.

  10. Hi Kiweto,

    The purpose of highlighting the AG’s report is not to use it as a ‘magic bullet’ to ‘shoot’ anyone. The purpose is just to raise awareness of the full AG report which, in my opinion, was not given appropriate coverage by the mainstream media and the PAC.

    As for your analogy that : “But if each citizen was willing to forgo s$3 overseas due to his own mistakes, would we have not also lost the same amount of money as a nation?”, I think the difference is rather clear, isn’t it?

    Each citizen’s own money is his private affair. He can do whatever he wants with it.

    Public institutions, on the other hand, are different. They are, if you will, custodians of public funds. And as the AGO’s website itself states “Non-compliances with procedures in the use of public funds are signs of weak internal controls.”

    I think that is what should concern us.

    Regards,
    Andrew
    theonlinecitizen

  11. TrueSinHorrorStories said

    Yes, I agree with what Andrew from theonlinecitizen says.

    Also, it is not about the PAP, or SDP or WP even if they are the majority in the Govt.

    From an audit/control point of view, some of these errors are really unacceptable. Yes, no one is perfect, there will always be laspes in control systems.

    But if you try to go through some of the detail observations, you would notice that MINDEF did not notice 2 companies A & B with same addresses & telephone numbers tendered for some services. Subsequently, Company A used Company B’s stamp to acknowledge receipt of payment from MINDEF for the goods/services rendered. And this kind of thing was not noticed and reported for quite a long time till AGO came across it. According to the report, in May 2006, MINDEF said the investigation was still being carried out. The observation was reported in Dec 2005.

    This is the kind of discrepancy which should have been spotted immediately or at least when payment was acknowledged with the wrong Company stamp. Obviously, a lot of people are not doing their jobs conscientiously or some form of suspicious activities are being carried out. Which would you think?

    No, it is definitely NOT a “magic bullet” to be used to shoot down the PAP. But having said that, it will be hard not to draw some form of conclusion following the recent country’s unhappiness over the issue of million-$ pay increases to curb greed, corruption in the Govt offices and to attract the elites into public service.

    I do not believe Singaporeans are an unforgiving people, nor do we expect anyone to be perfect. But when one makes HONEST MISTAKEs, have the honour and integrity to admit it, do something about it so we can all move on to better things. Coverups, glossing over mistakes while parading and boasting about successes to the public does not speak much for the Govt itself.

    With recent reports like UNSW closure and the involvement of EDB, and the EDB only received its 1st AGO-audit in 46 years, following pay increments that have been hailed as “obscene” while the Govt is boasting about transparency, world-class status, elites running the country etc, can one wonder why common people like us are making so much noise and demand for explanation and accountability?

    It would be interesting to note that if accountability and explanations had been more forthcoming, the average Singaporean might not be so “wide awake” with questions and eagerness to “poke and pry”.

  12. Hi TrueSinHorrorStories,

    Although on the whole, and as the AGO’s website says, most of the amounts are small, there still are certain practices which require closer scrutiny.
    For example, the Min of Environment and Water Resources “$527,819 written off in audited statement without authority” begs the question how this could happen. And I am sure many of us will agree that $527,819 is no small amount either.
    And the MCYS allowing contracts to be signed by people on its behalf “without authority”. How could such a thing happen?
    If one takes a look at the details of the report, there are certainly many questions that needs to be answered and which, sadly, are not and have not been answered.
    And oh yes, it makes one wonder why the EDB has not been audited for 46 years. It’s simply amazing.
    Regards,
    Andrew
    theonlinecitizen

  13. TrueSinHorrorStories said

    Thank you, Andrew. It’s been interesting to read TOC’s postings.

    To Undergradbyday, you said:

    ” This should not be a reason to rush our and crucify the PAP government along with its administrative service. This should lead to the country to find it okay that their leaders make mistakes and for the leaders to get off from their pedestal and accept that they may not be the one with all the answers. This humility and acceptance may be all we need to start the kind of political climate that inspires.”

    I totally agree with you. No one should crucify the PAP or the Govt and no one seems to be doing so…yet?

    But as I said, I don’t think we are an unforgiving nation….. problem is, there seems to be no easing off on the arrogance and high-horsey attitudes being dished out, unless you regard silent treatment as some form of humility.

    It is quite sad, even pathetic, the way the public gets ignored and given the silent treatment from all directions, even the local media. In this age and time, it is fortunate there is the internet and the ease of access to it, providing the people a means to exchange, discuss, dissect, share information and ideas and feelings etc.

    However, it appears that the Govt is taking notice that Singaporeans are waking up and being vocal about things so maybe there is hope for a “better tomorrow”?

    Perhaps the Govt is really trying to be more transparent … allowing a report of its Ministries to be put on the internet like this.

    I hope there won’t be any legal issues for TOC like what the editors of Tomorrow.sg are getting from the lawyers of a certain timeshare company for merely putting up a link to a writer’s postings of the said company.

  14. John said

    Scary… I’ve just realised that even though the PAP always claims to be entirely uncorrupt, we don’t have any proof for it other than what is fed us in the state media. Who knows what else is hiding inside the closet? With such a lack of transparency, the PAP could be siphoning our money without us knowing.

  15. […] June 2, 2007 Posted by The Truth in I am Singaporean.. trackback I am referring to this special exposé released by the Online Citizen. It’s about how millions of dollars are unaccounted for in the […]

  16. […] Online Citizen has made available in digital format the full version of the Auditor-General’s report of its findings of an audit conducted on 12 ministries and their associated statutory boards. A […]

  17. […] If you are interested, do read up on the whole matter here. […]

  18. Most businesses are today still managed in an ad hoc manner. This is the root cause of many problems confronting management of businesses and government services.

    In such an ad hoc management, the top manager or CEO is seldom concerned with implementation. A decision or policy will be made and it will often be left to the staff below conveniently called middle management to cope with it.

    Such ad hoc management relies on intangible concepts like decisions or policies which give rise to complexities and uncertainties resulting in idling, delays, inefficiencies, losses, or malpractices.

    Ask the CEOs this question: Are you able to implement decisions and policies made in an effective hands-on manner with due processes, measurements, and corrective actions taken as part of the staff’s daily work routines or are you relying on staff’s own reporting or year-end post-mortem financial reporting or Management Audit to determine the cause or causes of problems.

    Ask your top management or CEO : Are you taking preemptive or corrective or advance actions to solve problems in advance or are you leaving issues and problems to financial or management audit before taking actions.

    While Management Audit seeks to discover problems, OSP Process Management is aimed at preventing problems and solving them in advance before their occurrence.

    (1) Establish tasks in Follow-through component work processes.

    (2) Objective supervision, Clear definitions of roles, duties and quality-time-cost control.

    (3) Coordination and knowledge application.

    (4) Effective Communication and feedbacks.

    (5) Logical work processes, measurement of performance, corrections.

    (6) Objectivity, accountability and transparency.

    (7) Clearly defined Filing, retrieving of records.

    (8) Motivation of workers in knowledge application.

    (9) Effective Departmentalisation and delegation.

    As the saying goes, it is easy to find faults as anyone can make mistakes/

    The key principle in OSP is to guide the whole organization to work with coordination, teamwork and knowledge application at every level.

    Will management auditor ever realize that it will not be most effective in finding faults or recommend solutions through finding faults.

    Instead it should set up tasks such that all tasks could be accomplished in cause-effect lego-like component work processes with management being able to take actions for proactive result-oriented performance, where work processes are set up enabling staff to take hands-on control, comparison, processing and corrections to attain organizational efficiency and productivity.

    Will management audit leads to tasks being set up in cause-effect component work processes to empower staff to achieve higher level of efficiency through coordination, teamwork and knowledge application by all staff?

    Therefore, there is no end to finding faults as after finding out faults. What is more important is not to find faults whether of technical or routine as there will always be faults but whether top management or CEO has the capability to take hands-on actions to implement all the major policies and decisions.

    Such major decisions should include carrying out tasks with efficiency, accountable good corporate governance and results.

    If the solutions are proposed after the events or faults are discovered then there is not much credit to be given as any one could understand problems better in hind sight.

    Do the auditor or the auditing profession understand such fault finding is not sufficient for he himself probably may be unaware or unable to prevent its occurrence in the first place in most situations.

    If government must spend millions on conducting post-event management audits just to find fault, it might as well spend a small fraction on preventing problems from occurring in the first place and become more efficient or creative think again to meet so many globalization challenges ahead which depend largely on such management skills/

    In OSP government will be able to foresee and prevent problems by carrying out all its tasks in objectively planned component work processes and process them through the call centre so that everyone will be able to work with coordination and teamwork and knowledge application to upgrade your efficiency and productivity to achieve higher results.

    So it may be asked: who really need a management audit ?

    (Copyright of Robert Teh Kok Hua – author of Objective-Steps Processing Management System)

  19. […] Auditor Generalâs Report – Millions Missing « theonlinecitizen […]

  20. TrueSinHorrorStories said

    To Robert Teh K H:

    While I agree in many ways to the OSP way of doing things, are you saying the AGO auditors are only doing their job in finding fault and not doing anything else? I am asking because you seem to know it for a fact as I have no idea as I’ve only read the report of “faults”.

    While the “traditional” way of auditing might have involved mostly going through records, systems, policies etc and highlight areas of problems, mistakes and what-nots to the management, the role of audit has evolved and changed somewhat over the years.

    There have been demands to get auditors to work with organisations and departments to get to the crux of problems, work towards improvements etc. However, it really depends on how the management or the CEO if you would like to pinpoint a specific position, would want the involvement of auditors in such a role, not to mention the time and resources required to do so. But that is the commercial business world you are referring to mostly.

    According to your OSPMS, perhaps you should offer your services and educate the Govt into adopting your working processes so the Ministries/Govt offices will be practising good governance, minimise and ultimately eliminate such faults as reported and at the end of the exercise, we can truly say we have arrived as a 1st-class world-class society with an elite Govt running our beloved little country.

    And the public will be the happier because then people will begin to feel that the millions being taken is really worth paying for.

  21. […] Singapore Auditor General’s Report – Millions Missing Thanks to The Online Citizen, it’s been brought to light that the recent Auditor General Office’s (AGO) audit of 12 Ministries and associated statutory boards has shown irregularities to an extent not fully revealed by the recent Public Accounts Committee (PAC). According to the AGO, losses of public monies added up to $6.2 million, a substantial amount of which is still unaccounted for. Keywords: singapore, politics […]

  22. […] after operating for barely a semester leaving an embarassing gaping hole in our education hub. The Auditor General is finding lots of stuff missing after an audit of 12 ministries and associated statutory boards. All of a sudden, the MIWs who […]

  23. aygee said

    Even public-listed companies make similar mistakes. good that the problems are highlighted.

    what we would like to hear is what is being done to rectify the situation.

    If we complain and point fingers, rather than focus on solving the problem, then the “cover backside” mentality will become even worse. no one would want to make any decision any more.

    that (i.e. the cover backside mentality and not wanting to make a decision) to me, is a bigger problem.

  24. Hi Aygee,

    I agree with you. The point here is not to “point fingers” but like you said, to see what is being done to rectify these problems. And perhaps highlighting these irregularities wil go some way in this respect? At the end of the day, it’ll be good for Singapore.

    And that, I feel, is the point.

    Regards,
    Andrew

  25. […] The Auditor’s Report June 5, 2007 Posted by Ned Stark in Uncategorized. trackback As one of the writers of The Online Citizen, it is remiss of me not to publish the Auditor’s General Report on the Audit of the Ministries and Statutory Boards. Of course such a revelation has garnered several reactions from both ends of the spectrum, namely there are those who are baying for blood and prophesying the end of the world while there are those who caution people against jumping to conclusions without proper thought and due consideration. But more of that another time. As promised, here is the article. […]

  26. […] Original Article […]

  27. aygee said

    Andrew,

    yes. we got to allow for people to make mistakes – noone’s perfect, even among scholars, elites and technocrats in the govt. (please note the sarcasm 😉 )

    ALL I ASK – is the transparency and the taking up of responsibility. Someone out there needs to say “I’m sorry this happened on my watch, but here are the things i will do to rectify the problem and collect back on the amounts lost. If you still not happy, then i’ll step down and let someone better take office”.

    Now – thats leadership and deserving of a large salary. how many of our govt officials speak like this?

    When you try to “taichi” it, or complete silence (as in the UNSW), thats where we say you’re hiding something. and where rumours and theories start to appear.

    Like Dr Huang’s blogpost says – our govt needs to know how to do PR better. Maybe they should watch West Wing more and learn a thing or two.

    And yes – a freer mainstream media will indeed help keep things in check – as the fourth seat of govt. we’re no longer in the 60s-70s nationbuilding period. we’re a new generation of citizens.

  28. KiWeTO said

    its not about PR, unless you define PR as PUBLIC RESPONSIBILITY.

    No government is perfect. Processes can be perfect, but people who operate them are not. Mistakes, errors of ommission, sheer negligence and can’t-be-botheredisms, all contribute to any control system’s weaknesses and limitations.

    The only thing that the AG report shows is that we cannot believe that the government is entirely infallible. We may not collapse due to corruption, but systemic negligence will also cause us to fail.

    as for the 4th estate known as the media, most in the democratic world crossed the fine line between investigative journalism and sensationalism long ago.

    Nation building – hmm… does the ruling party recognize that we’re leaving ‘puberty’ as a nation, and stop treating its citizens like children who should be seen but not heard?

    😉

    E.o.M.
    [Glad being the devil’s advocate worked!]

  29. To: Truesinhorrorstories,

    I notice that you did not quite disagree with my general observations that the audit professionals were too concerned with fault-findings rather than solving problems such as by establishing tasks in attainable component work processes which will empower staff to work efficiently to realize goals and objectives.

    This is a negative approach in management which is too prevalent and needs to be corrected.

    It is easier said than done because the traditional accounts and management audit are too steeped in fault-finding rather than to help organization overcome problems and be more efficient or productive.

    There is no excuse that the CEOs are not too concerned with appointing auditors to do more than accounts or mere superficial audit to look good.

    If our audit professionals are to make their impact no doubt the biggest challenge will be for them to aim high irrespective of the resistances by CEOs who normally will just do enough as is expected by the laws or shareholders.

    So the ball should be on the court of the audit professionals to do a better job as expected of them as a profession with the highest standards and integrity and not fall prey to self-interests of CEOs or ministers who may as human beings be tempted to engage in cover-ups of malpractices as seen in NKF and lately within government’s ministries and departments as highlighted in the AG’s belated revelations of irregularies.

  30. Lockyer argued that to perform tasks efficiently, an enterprise needs to take the following 1st step:-

    (a) Simplification – reduction of unnecessary variey (Brisch)
    (b) Standardization – control of necessary variety
    (c) Specialization – concentration of efforts in undertaking where special knowledge is available.

    SECOND STEP IN QUALITY MANAGEMENT

    Lockyer recommended that after simplification, standardization and specialisation the next (2nd) step to be taken is to set up policies, forecast and budgets.

    According to Lockyer, objectives, policies, forecasts and budgets are interactive as follows:-

    Objectives =>

  31. In every company there would be accounting discrepency and its one of those things that as a Nation, one cant avoid.

    Not trying to sound righteous here for the ruling party, good god – no, for that would be most distasteful under the circumstances, but really, they did not fail to account for as much as a peanut of what Indonesia have perhaps to account for you know, at least the Accountant General is prepared to keep a frank and open report of matters, at least again theres some hope !

  32. PROCESS MANAGEMENT (OSP) – A PRACTICAL ALTERNATIVE TO TOP-DOWN GOVERNANCE

    “The secret of getting ahead is to get started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex and overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks and then starting on the first one.” – Mark Twain

    INTUITIVE MANAGEMENT APPROACH

    Objective-Steps Processing Management System (OSP) OFFERS A 4-step COLLECTIVE GOVERNANCE as follows:-

    Any government may set up its tasks from Policies, decisions, to detailed implementation etc in 4 key steps, viz:-

    (a) Study of Ideas,
    (b) Enquiry,
    (c) Contracts and
    (d) Contract Administration.

    STEP 1 – STUDY OF IDEAS

    The first step – “Study of Ideas” – consists of decision makings, policies and all the macro-tasks like conceptualization of governing philosophy.

    It strikes at the core of creativity while empowering all involved to make good governing decisions.

    STEP 2 – MAKE ENQUIRIES

    After policy and decisions, the next step is to “Make Enquiry” which is pivotal to creating a dynamic action-oriented organization or culture.

    The practical aspect of “Enquiry” step is to obtain “Quotations/Tenders” from the market place to maximize resource application.

    STEP 3 – CONTRACTS

    The 3rd step – securing contract – empowers staff to study all resources, secure opportunities and close deal in the form of contract enabling an enterprise to be run competitively.

    STEP 4 – CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION

    To govern effectively in a result-oriented manner, it is critical to develop robust implementation processes to allow all contracts or contractual tasks to be executed professionally to fulfill all policies, objectives, governing philosophy, terms and conditions and overcome constraints of all sorts. This is the only way to avoid talk-only conceptual, ad hoc and fire-fighting management.

    Divide contracts into distinct 10 functional departments. Set up each departmental tasks in 3-4 core activities for consistent and focused project-like management thus:

    1.(General) 2.(Human Resource) 3.(Revenue) 4.(Accounts) 5.(Marketing) 6.(Services, normally open-ended outsourced works) 7.(Facility) 8.(Enforcement) 9. (Production) 10.(Compliance).

    Hence all tasks are laid out clearly in steps with detailed works implemented in well-established component work processes contained in forms (admin) and work forms (operational tasks in each department) viz:-

    1. Administration Forms (existing forms adapted easily from each ministry/dept)
    2. Work Forms (10 departments)

    Processing of each form produces quantified Feedbacks of “1” (not attained) “2” (attained) and “3” (excellence)

    Close all input task-lines via the call centre weekly with self-corrective actions taken by staff at each level.

    Such process management produces closing status information.

    PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE APPLICATION

    In addition, such process management delegates all tasks effectively resulting in coordination and mass participation in knowledge application.

    A clearance Form is used to close daily operational tasks to avoid double-handling, inefficiencies, mishaps, security and fire risks etc.

    Set up a call centre to process all forms and work forms.

    LIST OF PROCESSING FORMS
    Examples of Forms:-

    Standard letters (FGL) work orders (FGW), production orders (FNO), tender/quotations, (FQL), purchase orders (FCP), salary/remuneration orders, (FHS), contracts, (FCP) invoices, (FAI) vouchers, (FAV) etc.

    EXAMPLES OF WORK FORMS

    Work Forms include Budget Control Work Form (WAB), Security Check Work Form (WSS), Stock Control Work Form (WNS) etc.

    To avoid ad hoc or self-centred governance, or concentration of power in a few individuals, it is critical to use processes to delegate tasks i.e. policy, decision, projects, for collective good corporate governance without self-centredness to reach excellence and results.

    Such process management could help to avoid NKF-type of wrongdoings and malpractices.

    It has helped me to attain super-efficiency in my own multi-tasking work environment beyond proportions.

    I would like to share such process management with all today. Results guaranteed to the faithful and diligent.

    Note: User- or trainer- Licences will be readily issued by author Robert Teh Kok Hua of Book “Objective-Steps Processing Management System” (book available at National Library)

  33. asoka said

    if i don’t remember wrongly this particular irregularity was reported some years back. anyway, whether this is a new case or the old case it seems to show that auditing serves no purpose at all as mistakes are either not corrected or prevented from happening again.

  34. asoka said

    my apologies again, didn’t know that i can’t quote from the posting. i’m referring to the $77,666.64 loss in ministry of law because of 36 cents.

  35. Professor Jayakumar has just ticked off Nominated MP Sylvia Lim in Parliament last week for resurrecting the past conspiracy theory of ex-MP Jeyeratnam in raising issue over the proposal to authorized MP to appoint key members of the judicial commissioners.

    He interpreted Sylvia’s query as allegation against the executive with for independence of the judiciary.

    He has threatened to convene a commission of inquiry to investigate Sylvia’s presumed allegation.

    He forgot that Sylvia was protected by the Parliamentary Privilege of the MP which specifically enacted that MPs in speaking up in parliament was free from any prosecution, investigation by any commission of inquiry or tribunal.

    Citizens are concerned with such frequent threats by ministers against MPs to convene commissions of inquiry just because such issues brought up by MPs are too embarrassing or sensitive to the executive.

    It is suggested that if government ministers should be more objective and accountable to the people. They should not be too sensitive to criticism rightly or wrongly held and instead perform their duties to the world’s best standards since they are paid the world’s best salaries plus lifelong pensions plus exceptional bonuses unheard of any part of the world which the highest paid CEOs in the private sector are not usually getting. So ministers need to change their confrontational style and instead try to answer to issues raised by Sylvia instead of using political power to block her from such questions to avoid accountability to the concern raised.

    If Prof Jayakumar cannot take such criticism in the proper perspective preferring to interpret what Sylvia raised as aspersions against him or his government then he should step down from office and let other potential ministers who could be more patient or objective handle such issue.

    Ministers should concentrate on running their respective portfolio without any legalistic wrangling with any laws or regulations or the civil libel to fix the MPs over difficult questions asked in parliament. They have the higher duty to answer to any queries or issues raised by MPs or citizens and they should be more broadminded instead of seeking legalistically to obstruct MPs’ performance of their duties.

    If Prof Jayakumar insists on convening a commission of inquiry he should first convene such commissions to investigate whether ministers and senior civil servants are negligent in causing the many losses or irregularities of public funds as reported here by the Auditor General.

  36. [quote]By “Metaphorical”
    Originally Posted by Metaphorical
    That why I say, you all har, never go listen mp talk & teach! No wonder, ask this type stupid thing & question!

    Ok basically this is how:

    If gov now say: ok, stop hospital now & sell hospital land.

    You all know how many many many moneys gov can earn or not? Joe, sg land price not cheap ok! You got see sgh hospital how big or not? If sell sgh hospital land you know how many money gov can take or not?

    Like my mp say before, if gov stop do hospital business, gov can earn 2 side money:

    1. sell the land got money
    2. stop hospital meaning no need waste money!

    so since gov never stop hospital for you all, of course you all must compensate gov back abit lah! Fair what like this! If no compensate, then gov better sell whole hospital & land give people build shopping center & earn more money! Simple as that!

    ok after you compensate gov land price, if you poor people, then gov can give you discount depend you class c, b or A. If class A meaning you rich, so little discount. If class c meaning you poor so give you 80% discount. Must take care poor people mah! Simple as that! [/quote]

    [quote]Quote:
    Reply: Roberttehkh:
    Like you always like to say, it is as simple as that – government has never subsidized medical cares for senior citizens or the sick or public housing since Minister Mah Boh Tan change the housing pricing formula from construction costs to market values in the 1970s.

    Because by making monies he could get a better career advancement but he forgets that he did not make monies for the whole country from outside but only from the people.

    How good can a government be if that government only knows how to make monies from its people and not create bigger cakes for the economy like selling more Toyota cars to the world?

    So my answer to your so-called 80% subsidy is as simple as that – there is no government subsidy.

    If you insist that the government will lose monies by developing hospitals instead of some other commercial complexes or there is a government subsidy of 80%, answer the following questions first :

    (1) What is a government – is it a developer like Far East or Li Ka Shing definitely must buy and sell lands to make profits?

    (2) What are the taxes like GST collected for – is it to keep as surpluses or reserves?

    (3) Why when it comes to port Pelepas or SIA, MM Lee has to change policies and really lower land costs in order to retain PSA’s position so as not to be overtaken by mass migration of major shippers.

    (4) Why did the parliament pass the Housing and Development Act and Land Acquisition Act – was it not to provide low cost housing to the people?

    (5) Were the lands acquired at cheap prices under the LAA by HDB and all the government departments and hospitals not for the purpose of public use including essential medical services people pay taxes for ?

    (6) Why did the HDB not tell the truths about the so-called housing subsidy?

    (7) If government already made windfall land profits why not plough back part of such profits to lower the rising costs of living and increase our business competitiveness for the whole country instead of squeezing people’s CPF or increasing more GST.

    (8) In presenting GST increases this year, why didn’t PM tell the parliament how much windfall profits government has been making ( is he aware NKF problem is exactly of the same nature) and is still making on the land acquisitions and HDB flat sales (at market prices forgetting to mention land profits already made when flats in the first place are supposed to be built in these acquired lands without profiteering)

    If minister Lui or Mah insists to counter cyber postings or engagint people in robust debates as challenged then he should give people here substantive and factual replies to the above-stated 8 questions at least to clear the air. (remember they are the talents worth millions of salaries)

    With such issues put away we can then begin the build the nation. If they can satisfy people with good answers then I am sure people will accept their talents and wisdom and will not trouble them with these issues about HDB or hospitals profiteering again. [/quote]

    [quote]Quote:
    Metaphorical: You har, 1970 time Mah bow tan where got become mp? You seow har?

    If must sell outside sg then call good, so sg kentucky, coffeeshops & mee sellers all no good lah because they sell only inside sg? Seow!

    If gov dont make money, how give you all sg shares & nss? How give your kid educare & subsidy your hdb & hospital cost? Simple as that!

    You got go see pte hospital & clinic or not? If no money earn, who want come open hospital & clinic? Think they too free har? Since pte also want earn money, gov of course sure must earn lah! Joe, gov money is our money you know or not? If gov take our money make loss, then we all better use our money build pte clinic & pte hospital since can earn money. Simple as that! You har, free time better go listen mp teach & give talk! I think what your mp surname you also dont know! [/quote]

    Robertehkh
    Of course if ministers want to avoid solving problems and keep talking about their policies for look-good presentations and justifications they can do so.

    Precisely because they keep denying problems with so many excuses there are so many problems affecting the people.

    This is the kind of governing system our so-called world’s best ministers are following since Goh Keng Swee and Lim Kim San left service.

    No wonder they are so shocked to see all the past hounding them like NKF, ministers’ self-rewarding with benchmarking of their salaries to a few lucky ones in the private sector even though they have been talking non-stop and promoting themselves for years.

    Learn one lesson joe. Do not give wrong feedbacks to ministers. What are wrong policies which cause citizens’ struggling for a living are wrong and will always be wrong and no matter how government use the media to pretend they are right will not help them.

    They have to globalize and accept change by the people and not keep pretending problems do not exist.

    Go back to tell the ministers to look into the wrongs in causing medical and housing costs to go up as most citizens are not happy and this will remain the major problem and may one day explode in their faces if they still are too arrogant to change.

  37. To ensure that civil servants will carry out their duties and responsibilities with accountability to people, they should strive for management excellence.

    Read as many books as they like they will probably still at best be managing in concepts with lots of problems.

    Try process management (Singapore’s own local product by an unknown non-scholars but highly practical citizen)

    By next year the civil servants should not have to face all the embarrassing malpractices and negligence like NKF or same old problems always reported by the Auditor General without any real solutions.

    The real issue now is whether our leaders are prepared to use our own local products.

    *Edited by moderator to remove advertisement.

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