Independent Accountants For AHPETC Should Be Free Of ‘Apparent Bias’

Should the High Court decide that independent accountants should be appointed to safeguard government grants to Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC), it should not involve the accounting firm involved in the Auditor-General’s Office report that found major lapses in the town council’s accounts.

AHPETC’s lawyer Peter Low argued that this is to guard against the possibility of “apparent bias”. The Ministry of National Development (MND) will also be the accountants’ paymasters, he added.

In March, the ministry proposed that the court appoint Mr Ong Chao Choon and Mr Chan Kheng Tek from accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, to be Independent Accountants of AHPETC, or any other people the Court deems fit and proper.

In February, the Auditor-General flagged major lapses in “governance and compliance” following an audit of AHPETC’s accounts for the Financial Year 2012-13.

The hearing continues.



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