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Parliamentary Replies

Government Agencies With Qualified or Adverse Accounts from Auditors in Past 20 Years

10 Oct 2016

Parliamentary Question by Mr Dennis Tan:

To ask the Minister for Finance in the past 20 years (a) how many Government-related bodies have received qualified accounts or adverse accounts by their auditors; and (b) what are the names of the bodies and the years for which the accounts were so classified.

Parliamentary Reply by Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat:

The Government Financial Statements, which cover the accounts of all Ministries, Departments and Organs of State, received unqualified audit opinions over the past 20 years. 

2 For the 64 statutory boards (SBs), in the last 20 years, seven of them received qualified audit opinions.

  • Six[1] SBs, namely Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS), Land Transport Authority (LTA), National Arts Council (NAC), People’s Association (PA), Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Public Utilities Board (PUB), received qualified opinions between FY2005 and FY2006 as they did not meet the revised Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (SFRS) 24. This was a new requirement issued in 2004, which required SBs to disclose transactions with other state-controlled entities.

  • PUB also received a Disclaimer of Opinion for FY2000 as auditors were not able to verify the reasonableness of the water sales revenue, due to problems with the billing agent's computer system that resulted in unavailability of reliable records.

  • The Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) received a Qualified Opinion for FY2004, for not complying with the Projected Unit Credit method to determine the present value of its obligations under the employee pension plan.
    MUIS received a Qualified Opinion for FY2001 for not consolidating the financial statements of one of its subsidiaries.  

  • PA received qualified financial statements for several years prior to FY2013, for the main reason of not including the accounts of its grassroots organisations in PA's accounts.  

3 In all the above instances, the qualifications were due to isolated causes. There was no evidence of widespread non-compliance and the SBs took prompt action to rectify the qualifications.  This is why six of the SBs – MUIS, LTA, NAC, PUB, URA and SEAB - received unqualified audit opinions the following year after the audit observations. Their auditors had found that the financial statements of these SBs were all properly drawn up, and that the accounting, finances and other records were in order, and in accordance with the provisions of their respective Acts.

4 In the case of PA, as explained in Parliament on 17th August 2015, PA had since taken steps to consolidate all the 1,800 grassroots accounts into PA's financial statements, to be in full compliance with the Accounting Standards.  PA has received unqualified audit opinions since FY2013.


[1] MUIS, LTA, PA and NAC received qualified audit opinions for FY2005 and FY2006. PUB received qualified audit opinion for FY2005 and URA received qualified audit opinion for FY2006.