SINGAPORE, 28 February 2017 – SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) has taken enforcement action against about 4,400 individuals who submitted false SkillsFuture Credit claims.
2. In end January this year, SSG discovered that about 4,400 individuals have submitted false claims, effectively encashing their SkillsFuture Credit without attending any courses. The vast majority – over two-thirds of the claims - were submitted towards the end of Jan 2017, and were flagged out by the data analytics system.
3. SSG has issued letters to these individuals to recover the monies which total about $2.2 million.
4. The objective of the SkillsFuture Credit is to empower Singaporeans aged 25 years and above to re-skill or upgrade their skills. In this spirit, the course directory and claims process were designed to be simple, inclusive and user-friendly. It is regrettable that some individuals have abused the system and submitted false claims.
5. SSG takes this abuse of the SkillsFuture Credit very seriously and will take the necessary action against these individuals. Individuals who provide false information to SSG are in breach of Section 58 of the SkillsFuture Singapore Agency Act which carries a maximum penalty of $10,000 fine and imprisonment of up to 12 months or both.
6. Until this incident, the number of false claims submitted by individuals has been low, with about 80 such claims detected per month in the last few months. Since the incident, SSG has stepped up its audit and enforcement efforts. These include stepping up data analytics to detect anomalies, more regular audits of training providers and individual claims. Please refer to Annex A for details on the enforcement measures.
7 “This is a serious incident of false claims involving SkillsFuture Credit, and we have taken immediate steps to recover the monies involved. We have also stepped up our checks and audits. All of us have a part to play in ensuring that the SkillsFuture Credit initiative works well,” said Mr Ng Cher Pong, Chief Executive of SkillsFuture Singapore.