I refer to the recent AGO report about the People’s Association (PA) CCC Chairman from Admiralty, who approved PA claims from public taxpayers funds that went straight to his own companies.
In the report, it says that the chairman of a CCC was involved in approving contracts worth a total of S$32,000, and corresponding payments to a company of which he was a member of the senior management. Test-checks revealed seven instances where the CCC chairman was involved in approving his own claims, totalling S$114,767 – a “clear conflict of roles”, the AGO said. In three of these payments, no supporting documents were available.
This conflict of interest was acknowledged by PA and Minister Khaw Boon Wan, as he was the MP who worked closely with this CCC Chairman. What I found really puzzling however was his declaration that “no dishonesty” was found in the transactions involving this public servant.
In the first place, why is it not dishonest that this CCC Chairman did not declare his own interests and shares in the companies that were awarded contracts and claims from the PA?
So for instance if I am a director of company XYZ and I also own a company ABC, wouldn’t it be dishonest if i awarded contracts to my own company ABC instead of taking on contracts from “cheaper, better, faster” companies out there?
PA’s explanation that the amounts awarded to the CCC Chairman’s companies tallied with the quotations and work tendered is hardly an excuse for this breach of duty. According to the PA’s logic, a company director going to KTV and claiming the bill of $10,000 from company accounts is not dishonest as long as he claims the exact amount of $10,000, instead of any inflated amount like $15,000 or $20,000.
Does any of this make sense to you or your readers? It sure does not make sense to me.