Quantedge Foundation (Singapore) Limited ("the Foundation") complies with the relevant guidelines of the Code of Governance for Charities and Institutions of Public Character (IPCs), and is committed to holding ourselves and our partners accountable to high standards of organisational integrity and responsible stewardship.
The Board is collectively responsible for promoting the success of the Foundation by directing and supervising the Foundation's affairs, in accordance with the Objects under its Constitution.
The Board has formed three Board Sub-Committees to give focus to the areas of Audit & Risk, Human Resource and Programmes & Services. Each Committee has its own terms of reference, roles and responsibilities that are approved by the Board.
Audit & Risk Committee
The Audit & Risk Committee facilitates the external audit of the Foundation to provide assurance on the reliability of financial reporting, safeguarding of assets and compliance with relevant laws and regulations. It oversees the Foundation’s financial reporting, audit of annual financial statements, risk management and internal controls.
Human Resource Committee
The Human Resource Committee assists the Board in implementing the Human Resource Policy of the Foundation and an effective Board succession plan. It is empowered to review the human resource structure of the Foundation, assess performance and set remuneration for staff, as well as to establish relevant performance criteria and to evaluate the effectiveness of the Board.
Programmes & Services Committee
The Programmes & Services Committee comprises of Board members and Advisors who are most familiar with the Foundation’s current and proposed programmes. It is responsible for overseeing new programme development, monitoring of outcomes, reviewing service delivery models and guiding the impact assessment and evaluation of programmes.
The Treasurer oversees the finance functions of the Foundation. He is responsible for establishing the appropriate accounting and financial policies and financial guidelines to ensure accountability and legitimate use of the Foundation’s financial resources. He also advises the Board on financial matters such as annual budget, cash management and investment opportunities for the Foundation’s reserves.
Human Resource Management
To ensure that there are sufficient human resources to carry out the day-to-day work and longer-term strategic projects and initiatives of the Foundation, a Human Resource Policy is in place for all matters related to persons representing the Foundation i.e. Board of Directors, Advisors and all staff (whether employees or volunteers). There is also a Code of Conduct that is aligned to the Foundation’s governing instrument to support our Mission, Vision and Core Values. The Human Resource Committee supports the Board in ensuring that there are proper procedures in place for the appointment or hiring, supervision, appraisal and professional development of all employees.
FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT and INTERNAL CONTROLS
The Foundation has adopted a set of internal controls and guidelines that set out financial authorisation and approval limits for donations by the Foundation – whether programme funding or ad-hoc, general grants – as well as for administrative purchases, payments and expenses. This includes proper segregation of duties and dual controls for financial transactions.
Under the Foundation's Donation Policy, there is a clear due diligence framework to guide internal decision making and reduce the risk of funding programmes or distributing grants which do not meet the Foundation’s Objects and strategic priorities. The Programmes & Services Committee also supports the Board in the due diligence and impact assessment process. All programme expenditure and grants are subject to prior approval by Programmes & Services Committee, based on the approval limits approved by the Board. The Foundation does not offer any loans to related or third parties.
Budget Planning and Monitoring
The Treasurer reviews the annual budget appropriate to the Foundation’s plans and objectives for the year to ensure that expenses and incoming funds are prudently projected. Quarterly updates are presented to the Board.
Reserves and Investment Policy
To provide stakeholders assurance of the continuity of the Foundation's programmes and operations, the Foundation aims to maintain its Reserves at a level sufficient to cover two years of budgeted operating expenditure and committed programme/grant expenditure, or equivalently a 2:1 ratio of Reserves to the average annual expenditure. The Foundation also aims to maintain the budgeted expenditure for the next six months in cash/bank deposits to meet our commitments.
All other funds may be applied towards investments such as fixed (or similar) deposits to minimise financial risks while earning a fair return. Governance procedures are in place to ensure there is internal discipline in the maintenance and utilisation of the Foundation’s reserves. The Treasurer is authorised to approve and effect investments of the Foundation’s reserves, in line with policy guidelines.
ConFLICTS OF INTEREST
All Directors of the Board, Advisors and staff (whether employee or volunteer) are required at all times, to act in the best interests of the Foundation. They are each required to make a declaration of conflicts of interest to the Foundation at the start of their respective terms/appointments, annually and as soon as such conflict or the possibility of such conflict arises.
Directors do not vote or participate in decision making on matters where they have a conflict of interest.
DiSCLOSURE And TRANSPARENCY
The Mission, Vision, programmes and activities of the Foundation are published and regularly updated on our website and shared with our potential partners or supporters. The Annual Report and audited financial statements are also available for download from the Charity Portal.
Personal Data protection
The Foundation respects the rights of individuals to protect their personal data. In dealing with personal information, the Foundation observes its obligations under Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (“PDPA”) and other relevant regulations.
The Personal Data Protection Policy applies to the personal data of all Directors, Advisors and staff (whether they be employees or volunteers) as well as to all programme partners and third parties who have relationships with the Foundation. These parties include beneficiaries of the Foundation’s programmes and services, suppliers, applicants for employment or internship, online users of the Foundation’s website and the general public.
If an individual does not fall within any of the aforementioned categories, but his/her personal data is collected, used or disclosed by the Foundation in the course of our work, the Policy will apply to the personal data consistently with the way it applies to an individual in these categories.
1. Purpose and Scope
The Foundation is committed to maintaining the highest standards of corporate governance and accountability in its affairs. In line with this commitment, the Whistle-blowing Policy provides a framework to promote responsible and secure reporting of concerns for all staff, programme partners and external parties, without fear of reprisal, discrimination or adverse consequences for whistle-blowing in good faith. The Policy applies to all Directors, Advisors and staff (whether they be employees or volunteers) as well as to all programme partners and external parties who have relationships with the Foundation. These parties include beneficiaries, suppliers, applicants for employment, and the general public.
Whistle-blowing is defined as a deliberate, voluntary disclosure of individual or organisational malpractice by a person who has or has had privileged access to data, events, or information about an actual, suspected, or anticipated wrongdoing within or by the Foundation that is within its ability to control.
3. Reportable Incidents
The Policy is intended to cover serious concerns that could have a significant impact on the Foundation, including but not limited to the following:
Failure to comply with any applicable legal or regulatory requirements;
Dishonest, corrupt, fraudulent or other improper conduct involving the Foundation’s properties, assets or resources;
Breach of the Foundation’s Code of Conduct, Conflicts of Interest policy, Personal Data Protection policies or any other internal policies;
Any other improper conduct that may implicate or be detrimental to the reputation of the Foundation or its programme partners; or
Deliberate concealment of information on any of the above malpractice or misconduct.
4. Safeguards for Whistle-blowers
Any concern raised or information provided about an actual, suspected, or anticipated wrongdoing shall be done in good faith. An individual who raises a concern in good faith shall be protected against any reprisal such as retaliation or harassment of any kind, regardless of the outcome of consequent investigations into the matter reported. Information relating to the reported malpractice or misconduct, as well as its source, shall be treated with the strictest confidence. Exceptions to this include:
When the Foundation is under legal obligation to disclose such information provided;
When the information is already in the public domain;
When the information is given in strict confidence to legal or auditing professionals for the purpose of obtaining professional advice; and
When the information is given to the Police for criminal investigation.
The Foundation shall not condone any frivolous, mischievous or malicious allegations, and reserves its right to take action against those who give false or misleading information.
5. Making a Report
Whistle-blowing concerns or information may be provided to the members of the Board's Audit and Risk Committee by e-mail through: [email protected] Alternatively, the information could be addressed to the member of the Board's Audit and Risk Committee and posted to the following address:
Quantedge Foundation (Singapore) Ltd. 20 McCallum Street 15th Floor Tokio Marine Centre Singapore 069046 To ensure confidentiality, the mail should be marked: “Strictly Private and Confidential. To be opened by Addressee Only.”
A whistle-blowing report, shall to the extent possible, include the following information:
Date, time and place of actions/transactions;
Identity and particulars of the parties involved;
Evidence substantiating the allegations;
Any relevant information concerning the allegations; and
Name(s) of the person(s) making the whistle-blowing report, his/her relationship to the Foundation and contact details for follow-up.
Individuals who make the report are encouraged to provide their names and contact details to facilitate appropriate follow-up and investigation. Concerns or information provided anonymously will still be given due consideration by the Foundation but will be investigated on their own merits.
Assessment of the reported concern or information shall be made with due consideration given to the following factors:
Severity of the issue raised;
Credibility of the concern or information; and
Likelihood of confirming the concern or information from the attributable sources.
Depending on the nature of the concern raised or information provided, an investigation will be conducted by the Audit Committee or such investigating officers (at least one of whom will be from the Audit Committee) appointed by the Audit Committee. The investigating officers will not include any person and the deliberations of the Audit Committee will not include any person who is the subject matter of a whistle-blowing report. The Audit Committee may at its discretion, involving one or more of the following persons to conduct or assist with the investigation:
The Foundation’s external auditor; and/or
The Police or Commercial Affairs Department.
The amount of contact between the whistle-blower and the person(s) investigating the concern raised or information provided will be determined by the nature and clarity of the matter reported. Further information may be sought from the whistle-blower during the course of the investigation. When the investigation is completed, the investigating officer(s) will report the findings to the Audit Committee for its necessary action. The Audit Committee retains absolute discretion to determine whether the findings and consequent action will be notified to the individual(s) making the whistle-blowing report or to any other persons.
6. Updates to the Policy
The Foundation may modify this Policy to maintain compliance with the applicable laws and regulations, or accommodate organizational/personnel changes within the Foundation.