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HPB wasted $5.39m on extra health trackers: AGO report

People sitting next to a pond with the view of Singapore's CBD skyline in the background. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

Individuals sitting subsequent to a pond with the view of Singapore’s CBD skyline within the background. (PHOTO: Getty Photographs)

SINGAPORE — An extra of 341,000 health trackers had been bought for the Nationwide Steps Problem, leading to wastage of $5.39 million by the Well being Promotion Board (HPB), stated the Auditor-Common’s Workplace (AGO).

In its annual report on authorities accounts for the 2020/2021 monetary yr launched on Thursday (22 July), the AGO famous “administration of operations and weaknesses in controls at some public sector entities”, together with HPB, the Nationwide Heritage Board (NHB) and the Public Service Division (PSD). 

For its newest report, the AGO audited the monetary statements of all 16 authorities ministries and eight organs of state; 11 statutory boards; 4 government-owned corporations; and two different accounts. 

The report famous key areas through which lapses by ministries and businesses had been flagged through the audit. These included:

  • Lapses in administration of operations and weaknesses in controls

  • Lapses in procurement and contract administration

  • Weaknesses in IT controls

  • Enhancements wanted in administration of facility administration contracts

  • Attainable irregularities in information furnished for audit

Within the case of HPB, the health trackers had been bought for seasons 1 to five of the Nationwide Steps Problem, which had ended between one and 5 years previous to the audit. Check checks discovered round 268,000 trackers, valued at $4.26 million that weren’t put to make use of.

Following a full inventory depend in January this yr, HPB discovered that there was an extra of 341,000 trackers with a complete worth of $5.39 million. 

The report famous that HPB’s processes had been insufficient for monitoring the motion of health trackers and guaranteeing that the inventory of trackers was correctly accounted for.

“The receipt and distribution of trackers concerned handbook processes and a number of exterior events. There was no central monitoring of the motion and inventory of trackers; information maintained had been incomplete; and there was no periodic reconciliation of information with bodily inventory available,” stated the AGO.

Different lapses

For the PSD, which manages the medical and dental advantages for Singapore’s civil service, the AGO’s audit flagged faulty claims. 

These included these paid to ineligible officers or pensioners and their dependants; Medisave contributions made to ineligible officers; and claims paid for bills incurred at entities not on the checklist of authorised medical establishments. The AGO famous there have been additionally doable duplicate claims, break up claims and bypassing of dental declare guidelines.

“Total, AGO discovered round 9,500 doable faulty claims. Whereas this amounted to solely 0.3 per cent of the whole of three million claims processed through the audit interval, the estimated doable overpayment by the Authorities was not small, at round $0.5 million,” the report stated.

With regard to the NHB, the AGO highlighted weaknesses within the organisation’s information administration regarding heritage supplies. These included discrepancies within the information maintained within the programs in addition to the handbook information.

“Good information administration is necessary because the information of heritage supplies are relied upon for monitoring, stocktaking and reporting within the monetary statements,” stated the AGO.

There have been additionally doable irregularities within the information submitted for checks by the Ministry of Tradition, Neighborhood and Youth (MCCY), Ministry of Training (MOE), Ministry of House Affairs (MHA), the Housing and Improvement Board (HDB), in addition to the Individuals’s Affiliation (PA), in keeping with the AGO.

For MCCY, the AGO discovered supporting paperwork for claims confirmed indicators that they might have been photocopies of each other with alternations made to the dates and length of providers rendered.

For MOE and MHA, the report acknowledged that there have been just a few cases through which paperwork submitted confirmed indicators of getting been created – or had been backdated – to fulfill the AGO’s queries.

Throughout the audit of HDB, check checks on quotations used to evaluate the reasonableness of star charge gadgets – gadgets for which charges are unlisted in a contract – discovered indicators that among the quotations might have been created or altered to counsel that they had been obtained from different suppliers.

Within the case of PA, doable irregularities noticed included indicators of doable falsification of quotations, alteration of hardcopy cost supporting paperwork, in addition to the creation and backdating of paperwork.

The AGO added that the related businesses have carried out their investigations into the lapses and lodged police studies the place acceptable.

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