Singapore: Wednesday (July 20) Audit Directorate (AGO) is a case of improper management and checking by the Ministry of Labor (MOM), Health Promotion Commission (HPB) and Singapore Land Authority (SLA) related to COVID. Emphasized-19 Related Procurement and Expenditure.
These areas for improvement were flagged in the 2021/2022 AGO Audit Report on Public Institutions in Singapore. This is where MOMs, HPBs, and SLAs facilitate a timely response to emergencies and government.
The audit covered all 16 government ministries and eight state agencies, as well as three statutory boards, four state-owned enterprises, and two other accounts.
AGO has released an unrevised audit opinion on these financial statements.
“This is an independent verification that government accounting is prepared in accordance with the law and gives a true and fair view of its overall financial position,” the Treasury (MOF) said in another statement.
AGO also added that it also conducted selective audits of four statutory boards and three government funds whose financial statements were not audited by AGO. Selective audits include test checks of selected areas for significant inefficiencies that lead to financial irregularities, excesses, luxury, or waste.
Procurement and expenditure of COVID-19
Pandemic-related procurement and spending-related audits at MOM, HPB, and SLA will cover spending related to talent services, accommodation, and meal catering during the audit period from January 2020 to March 2021. It was shown that a total of S $ 1.51 billion was generated.
AGO “generally implements” processes and controls over the four stages of procurement and contract management (planning and establishing needs, procurement and contracts, contract management, and contract termination or renewal) by three authorities. I kept in mind that I was doing it.
“There were still areas where we could improve control,” AGO added to the audit observations.
Observations included erroneous assessments of the contractor’s proposals and price rationality, as well as discrepancies and omissions in submissions to the approval body for the awarding of contracts.
In addition to delays in approving contracts, there were also weaknesses in the payment process, including inadequate checks on payment validity, inconsistencies in payment claims, and lack of supporting documents.
The AGO also noted the need for MOMs, HPBs, and SLAs to improve the documentation of assessments.
The Ministry of Finance said the heads of relevant agencies are reviewing each case to identify the root cause of revocation and taking steps to strengthen capabilities, processes and systems.
“Relevant agencies have begun corrective action, including recovering surplus funds paid and strengthening contract management, and will continue to share good practices to improve public sector standards,” he said. rice field.
MOF said the COVID-19 pandemic was an “abnormal time” for Singapore and its civil servants.
“Public institutions were agile in the transition from pre-pandemic roles to new urgent roles and needed to expand their operations significantly and quickly,” said the ministry.
This includes the HPB, which increases the number of swab personnel, the SLA management facility used as the COVID-19 facility, and the MOM, which supports dormitory management and the welfare of migrant workers.
“The Audit President’s report points out that the SLA, MOM, and HPB are implementing the required policies and processes. A structured process for managing conflicts of interest, a ban on contractors. Good practices were mentioned, such as checks, regular reviews of contracts as requirements change, and measures to reduce overall spending, “MOF said.
“There was also room for improvement, such as how government agencies could improve in assessing proposals, obtaining approvals related to contracts, and implementing payment processes.”
“Public services take lessons learned and strengthen preparedness for future emergencies,” the Treasury added.