Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song asked the Minister for Communications and Information regarding the further investigations into the discrepancy in circulation figures by SPH Media Trust’s Audit and Risk Committee (a) whether the Ministry will be asking the Committee to share its full investigation report with the public; and (b) when is the report expected to be completed and released.
Mrs Josephine Teo: During the Parliament Sitting of 6 February 2023, I set out the Government’s considerations regarding SPH Media Trust’s (SMT) investigations. The events in question took place before SMT was formed and before the Government provided funding to SMT. I also explained that the findings of SMT’s internal review of circulation data from September 2020 to March 2022 had no bearing on public funds, as the data was not used to decide if and how much to fund.
With no direct impact to public funding, the decision on whether to share its full investigation report with the public resides with SMT, which has its own executive team and Board. As I had stated in my reply on 6 February, MCI expects SMT to be mindful of their responsibility to maintain the public’s trust in their newsrooms and journalists, and do what is needed to meet its obligations.
On when the report is expected to be completed, SMT’s Audit and Risk Committee should be provided adequate time for a thorough investigation. They can only make that determination based on their findings.
Ministry of Communications and Information
22 February 2023