Friday, February 21, 2014

Follow The Money

The nomenclature used in the Singapore Standard on Auditing SSA 700 “The Independent Auditor’s Report on a Complete Set of General Purpose Financial Statements” and SSA 701 “Modifications to the Independent Auditor’s Report” deals with the auditor’s responsibility to form an opinion on financial statements, using a section with headings ranked in order of severity such as:

Unqualified Opinion
The auditor “concludes that the financial statements give a true and fair view or are presented fairly, in all material respects, in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework.”
Emphasis of matter (EOM)
This is to "highlight a matter affecting the financial statements which is included in a note to the financial statements that more extensively discusses the matter. The addition of such an emphasis of matter paragraph does not affect the auditor's opinion.”
Qualified Opinion*
This is expressed when the "auditor concludes that an unqualified opinion cannot be expressed but that the effect of any disagreement with management, or limitation on scope is not so material and pervasive as to require an adverse opinion or a disclaimer of opinion.”
Disclaimer of Opinion*
It is expressed when the "possible effect of a limitation on scope is so material and pervasive that the auditor has not been able to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence and accordingly is unable to express an opinion on the financial statements."
Adverse Opinion*
It is expressed when the "effect of a disagreement is so material and pervasive to the financial statements that the auditor concludes that a qualification of the report is not adequate to disclose the misleading or incomplete nature of the financial statements.”

* - with or without EOM (Emphasis of Matter)

It has now surfaced, and confirmed by the People's Association (PA) this morning ("PA responds to online reports on its accounts"), that the PA accounts for 2008 through 2011 have been slapped it with an "Adverse Opinion" by auditors, year after unrepentant year. That's auditor lingo saying that PA financial statements do not present the true state of affairs of the Association. Specifically, the financial position of the 1,803 (as at 31 March 2011) grass-roots organisations (GROs) under its purview are not consolidated, and no audited financial information of the entities under its control are available.

Apparently Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang did raise a red flag in 2008, but the blinkered eyes of Parliament decided it "was fully responded to." Nevertheless, their spokesman is now responding with a confessional, "PA is on track to present  fully consolidated accounts for FY2013." Does that mean senior anti-graft officer Edwin Yeo does not have to go to jail for 10 years if he makes amends and undertakes to stop pilfering from the Corrupt Practices Investigations Bureau?

We are not dealing with peanuts here (unit of currency defined as $600,000 by Mrs Goh Chok Tong), PA’s operating expenditure for FY2012 increased by $46 million to $483 million, of which $434 million have been siphoned off from taxpayers in the guise of Government grants.

The Auditor-General's Office (AGO) has just been ordered to conduct an audit of the opposition-run Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council’s (AHPETC) FY2012-13 accounts for a "Disclaimer of Opinion". Did they do that just to distract the AGO and avoid the elephant in the room?


  1. For fairness, accountabilities and transparency, Tharma should instruct AGO to conduct audit on PA's account.

    1. Those who live in glass houses should draw their curtains before making love.

  2. So disclaimer of opinion is more serious than adversed opinion? What says you, Mr. Kan & Mr. Khaw?

  3. They will tell you that the goose and the gander are two entirely different animals. You cannot use the same sauce on them. The citizenry is sick and tired of all this twists and turns, forms without substance.

    1. They are trying to helm in or tie down WP to prevent them from expanding. Non dafts should understand the position WP is in.

  4. Is that the so called PAP brand of transparency & accountability? Two years they ordered the Auditor General to look into it and yet 4 years of shit themselves they keep silent?

    What happened to LKY's mantra that if they are not paid well enough, they will be tend to be more dishonest ? So were these greedy buggers in those payscales ot paid enough?

  5. The more they pursue what can be construed as 'important' and 'in the interest of the constituents'.. we all know that the reasons are less honourable:

    To paint a picture of incompetence, with an element of dishonesty. The outcome being to create doubt in the minds of the electorate.

    It seems that they still believe that this is a superior strategy.
    The doggedness is illuminating. The people have not forgotten AIM, HDB home prices, their previous attacks on AHPETC, the hawker centre debacle...and the opposition will ensure that these incidents will be reminded again and again.

    Well, they can continue on this path... their fate is sealed.
    ( quiet silly of them really... but I am sure they disregard any feedback... they are very sure of themselves... fearless people)

  6. It is quite likely the current hazy spell will persist for another few months. A major bonfire party is expected from King George Ave as well as many RCs and other GROs. It will be quite similar to that fire at the Argentinian central bank last month which accidentally burnt away certain paper trail.

    LKY was peoud the CCP commies from china came to learn from the PA. No wonder there are so many Ma Chis driving ferrris around la! They certainly learned how to siphon half a billion here and there. Just think the red dot has 1803 GROs, how many GROs would China have? Multiply maybe by 260 times, and the Canadians and Oz are wondering how come the chinks plonk cash to buy $5m houses. Now that's what I call peanuts man!!

    Btw, "consolidated statements" still does not mean we will know who supplied the abalone porridge at $50 per bowl hor! It only means lump them all together and provide some tortured numbers. Interesting and relevant "conflict of interests" declarations would probably be left out - like whether the company the PA used to provide the basket of mangoes to sextisfy hungry MPs was related to PA employees. Or whether the directors of the companies supplying abalone porridge to some RCs are the husbands or aunties of so and so inside the PA etc etc. Just saying, to audit to such details would be like auditing Lehman brothers, in more ways than one.

    What say the four legged folks here?

    1. Arrh, like one S. Fund lump everything into the 8 billion adminstrative expenses.

    2. Exactly, that jinx SWF which lump every GLC's profit and call it their own "consolidated profit". So other peoples' admin expense also become their billions of admin expense. All these consolidated statements are nothing but obfuscation. The (former) paper generals have a special technical term calling it camouflage, sotongs like us call it throw smoke.

  7. Which minister dares to order an audit by the Auditor General on an organ helmed by a clown of the royal famiLEE, where the funds dispatched by Limpeh Ahkong?

    The auditor is already being very brave to give an adverse opinion on the accounts. Btw, who audit Temasek?

  8. Me likes propaganda by the Main Stream Media.
    me also likes the Authority to probe here and there.
    All these show that the Regime is indeed very hardworking and efficient in fixing problems. At least, they show that they are working to fix things.


    1. ya.. "FIX" something as mention by PM Lee himself during 2011 election speech

  9. How come all those kind of hanky panky @AIM still no one prosecuted ? PAP honest? My foot also honest?

  10. Not forgetting the PAP TCs' toxic investments have also cost their residents' monies dearly. Yet, they complained not enough surplus and need to up the SC fees. 2008 - 2011 all the RCs financials are not accounted for and each year PA granted nearly half a billions to these RCs? Thus in total nearly $2billion worth of taxpayers monies were not accounted by the PA, where is our money gone to under LHL's PA books? This is so annyoing and inethical and yet PAP appears so meticulious in fixing opposition wards and claimed holier than the opposition.

    Voters, this is PAP true color. The glass ceiling is smashed by its own stone.

  11. I think the PM is way over his head. Is he really so blur, sotong, petulant, petty, small-minded, sneaky, etc etc etc ?? The only promise he seems to have kept is one about fixing the opposition. Ironically, everytime he tries to do this, it seems to have boomeranged, like the AIMgate, the AHPETC hawker centre hooha, and now this PAgate. Karma or comedy?

    And he shows his naivety in international affairs, when he cracked his ill-conceived goose-pimpling joke about Beijing's free smoke and pork soup from tap, the tiff with Indonesia about the warship names, the long-standing haze problems, ratifying the CECA with India, etc etc etc. And we haven't gone into his domestic policies yet, especially the PWP in which he reneged on his promise to slow down the rate of immigration. Aiya, the list is too long.


    1. //Karma or comedy?//

      Should be karma and comedy. Karmady? Wait and see who has the last laugh, eh, Karmady Prince? The curse of the Owl.

      I have to take my hat off to the solidarity of his team. Whenever he makes a statement, for example the latest on Total Defence, these 3 will echo everything like a sounding chamber: the Cheeken, the Hen, and the Poodle alias Keechiu (recall how George W Bush had his own poodle Tony Blair).

      Joke: Who crossed the road first, the Cheeken or the Hen?
      A: No, the Poodle.

  12. Why does PA stubbornly not disclose the financial statements of the GROs under them?

    Is it they don't care,
    or don't know how to do it,
    or... don't want people to know.

    GROs' financial statements are not even audited but yet PA has the cheek to say they are properly kept and all grants and cost are accounted for. Since when PA become an auditing firm. When any Tom, Dick and Harry can offer opinion on financial integrity who needs auditor?

  13. The problem is not with the PA management but its structure. It has over 1,000 subsidiaries ie. RCs. To consolidate all their finances, it is simply a waste of public funds.

    It is better for the PA to manage its accounts centrally, than have 1,000 independent accounts. How do taxpayers know that there are no irregularities in the RCs accounts?

    1. Is it possible that might be the entire point of the present system?

    2. //To consolidate all their finances, it is simply a waste of public funds//
      You might as well argue that filling up your income tax forms is a waste of time.
      Fact is, from 2008 onwards, as much as $400m a year disappeared into GROs with no trace of accountability. That PA is now trying to present fully consolidated accounts for FY2013 is admission of mismanagement, and possible commercial crime. Who knows what the GROs spent the money on - $400m x 5 years add up to $2billions - it could be mangoes who brought down a Speaker of the House, or pineapple tarts that landed the MFA official in jail. Or $2 companies. What is it about accountability that these MIW find so hard to understand?

    3. If the money going to GROs comes from PAP, then I don't care.
      But if the money comes from Singaporean taxpayers or raiding our reserves, I want to know how the money was spent.

      Is AIM also a GRO?

  14. Can cow account for national service. Disclaimer? If u vote this people, didn't you asked? . ......