The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) served a notice of intention to Impresario Learning Lab today, to revoke its status as a government student care fee assistance (SCFA) administrator.
During a recent audit, the Ministry uncovered multiple instances of wrongful claims for student care fee subsidies made by Impresario Learning Lab to the government. MSF takes a serious view of this matter and has since referred the matter to the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Force.
The Ministry’s notice of intention was served to Mr Shaik Ismail, the operator and sole proprietor of Impresario Learning Lab. Impresario Learning Lab is required to provide an explanation to MSF within 14 days regarding the wrongful claims. If the centre fails to provide a satisfactory explanation, MSF will revoke its status as a centre administrator of student care fee assistance.
The action taken by MSF will not affect the Centre’s current operations, as the Ministry has not identified any concerns with the safety or well-being of the students so far. However, the Centre will not be allowed to administer the government student care fee assistance for new students with immediate effect. MSF will monitor the Centre’s subsidy claims closely during this period, and require the Centre to work with us to ensure that the claims are properly carried out.
MSF has sent letters to the parents whose children are enrolled in Impresario Learning Lab to explain the situation, and to provide them our support and assistance.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What do parents need to do if their child is enrolled in Impresario Learning Lab?
The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) is currently investigating wrongful claims observed in the centre operator’s administration of student care subsidies. MSF has not identified any concerns with the safety or well-being of the students so far. Parents may continue to send their child to the Impresario Learning Lab. Children currently enrolled in the centre will continue to receive student care fee assistance.
If the centre is unable to give a reasonable explanation for the wrongful claims within 14 days, MSF will revoke its status as a centre that is allowed to administer government student care fee assistance. In that event, the centre can no longer receive government subsidies to cover its student care fees. Should parents wish to transfer their child to other centres, MSF will assist the parents in finding alternative student care centres. Children who are eligible can continue to receive student care fee assistance at the new centres.
MSF will inform parents of further developments, and if necessary, provide advance notice before the revocation comes into effect.
2. Can Impresario Learning Lab continue to take in children?
As there are no issues with Impresario Learning Lab concerning the safety and well-being of the children, it can continue to take in children.
However, the centre will not be able to administer government student care fee assistance for new children who enrol in the centre with immediate effect.
3. Why is MSF only allowing Impresario Learning Lab to administer government student care fee assistance for children previously enrolled in the centre during this period of notice?
During this period of notice to Impresario Learning Lab, we want to minimise inconvenience faced by parents whose children are currently attending the centre. Therefore, MSF has allowed the centre to continue administering government student care fee assistance for children already enrolled at the centre.
4. Since wrongful claims were found, why is the status of Impresario Learning Lab as a centre that is allowed to administer student care fee assistance not revoked immediately?
MSF has expressed our intention to revoke the status of Impresario Learning Lab as a centre that is allowed to administer student care fee assistance. However, we need to give the centre an opportunity to explain the wrongful claims found. MSF will proceed to revoke the status within 14 days unless the centre provides a satisfactory explanation. During this period, the centre will not be allowed to administer the government student care fee assistance for any new students.
5. How does MSF detect if there are wrongful student care fee assistance claims made by student care centres? What are the current safeguards against fraudulent claims?
MSF conducts regular audits on centres to ensure that student care fee assistance claims are bona fide.
Centres are required to ensure proper records and documentation of applicants and beneficiaries’ details, attendance, student care subsidies applications, renewal, appeals, withdrawal forms and supporting documents (e.g. medical certificate for child’s absence from the student care centre).
6. How many student care centres (SCCs) are there?
As at July 2016, there are 436 SCCs registered with MSF. Click here for the list of registered SCCs.
7. How long has Impresario Learning Lab been an SCFA Administrator?
From our records, Impresario Learning Lab started disbursing SCFA subsidies in 2013.
8. How many children are enrolled in Impresario Learning Lab? How many are receiving SCFA?
Based on our records, there were 14 children enrolled in Impresario Learning Lab in Jun 2016. 12 are currently receiving SCFA.