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    Aug 19, 2016

    AHTC needs 'more qualified staff to fix flaws'

    WORKERS' Party-run Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) needs to have more staff with relevant experience if it is to resolve problems in its accounts in a timely fashion, its auditor KPMG said yesterday.

    In its fifth report, released by the WP on its website, the auditors said AHTC has resolved three of the 17 audit points raised in its previous report.

    The remaining 14 audit points - or 82 per cent - of the remedial measures are still subject to review by KPMG and yet to be resolved.

    The auditors highlighted the progress achieved thus far in AHTC's investigation of items in its temporary clearing accounts to drive home the point that the town council needed more qualified manpower to remedy its lapses.

    Of the more than one million transactions in 18 temporary accounts to be cleared - a task KPMG said would take about a year - AHTC has cleared only 599 of them over the past two months.

    "The rate of progress has increased since our July 2016 Report; however, AHTC needs to increase the available staff with the requisite expertise so that it can complete investigation prior to the migration of accounting data to AHTC's new accounting system," said the report.

    Last month, AHTC awarded a $750,000 contract for a new accounting system to Anacle Systems, one of two companies that tendered for the job.

    AHTC had hired KPMG to look into its books following significant lapses in governance flagged by its own auditors and the Auditor-General in a special report in February last year.

    KPMG had said in July that it found "pervasive" control failures in the accounts and work processes over the past five years, and estimated that the town council will take at least 18 months to rectify all the lapses and weaknesses that have been detected.

    AHTC had said it aimed to complete its rectification plans within 15 months.