SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) has contacted all affected training providers, companies and individuals to recover the millions in overpayments made due to lapses in the management of its grants, said Minister of State for Education Gan Siow Huang on Monday (Aug 1).
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These parties “will be given time to check their own records and return any confirmed overpayment”, she told Parliament.
An annual report by the Auditor-General’s Office (AGO), released last month, found that SSG had overpaid an estimated S$4.22 million to grant applicants and training providers.
This was caused by inaccurate or erroneous declarations by grant applicants and training providers that were not picked up by the agency’s internal checks, said Ms Gan in a reply to questions from Members of Parliament.
A majority of these errors occurred prior to November 2020 when SSG’s previous IT system for grant administration had used a declaration-based approach, she added.
Other errors also occurred during the manual processing of grants, including human errors made by the service provider contracted by SSG to perform grant administration functions.
Ms Gan said that to reduce reliance on declarations and manual processing, the agency had since November 2020 put in place a new IT system that uses administrative data in government databases to determine and verify eligibility of the grant applicants.