Most town councils do better in report

Most town councils do better in report

SINGAPORE - Town councils performed better than past years in the latest management report from the Ministry of National Development (MND), with all but one receiving top scores for estate cleanliness, lift performance and corporate governance.

But the Aljunied-Hougang- Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) run by the Workers' Party (WP) again got a "pending" grade for corporate governance, as it had not submitted its audited financial reports, said MND.

The corporate governance indicator, one of five in the annual report, measures compliance with the law in areas such as announcing and awarding tenders.

The report, released on Thursday, appraised the 15 town councils between April last year and March this year.

AHPETC chairman Sylvia Lim said it had not submitted its documents because its auditors, who were appointed this May, are still in the midst of finalising the town council's financial statements.

"We understand that the issues being addressed include complexities resulting from the handover legacy, classification and treatment issues, year-end adjustments and others," she said in a statement.

In response to queries, an MND spokesman said it had also not received the AHPETC auditor's management letter and self-declared corporate governance checklist.

This is the second time in a row that AHPETC's corporate governance grade is "pending".

Last year, Ms Lim said it failed to submit its documents on time because of a delay created by the town council's migration to new IT software. The old vendor, a company run by the People's Action Party (PAP), terminated its services when the WP took over the town council, she added.

This charge led to a protracted exchange of accusations between the PAP and the WP of conflicts of interest involving close ties that the parties have with the vendors and companies that their town councils hire.

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