WP 'backs move to boost oversight of town councils'

WP 'backs move to boost oversight of town councils'
The Workers' Party also asked the Government to look into the “depoliticisation of the transition process”, when town councils change hands, to protect residents’ interests.

The Workers' Party (WP) supports the Government's move to strengthen oversight of town councils, its chief Low Thia Khiang said in Parliament yesterday.

The party, he added, also takes seriously the Auditor-General's report released earlier this week.

It showed major lapses in governance and compliance with financial rules by the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC).

Mr Low's words of support follow National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan's announcement in Parliament that the Town Councils Act is to be amended to address weaknesses.

In his first response since the report's release, the opposition politician also urged the Government to look into the "depoliticisation of the transition process", when town councils change hands, to protect residents' interests.

He said AHPETC's problems stemmed from difficulties it faced in attracting managing agents after the WP won Aljunied GRC in May 2011.

"It would seem that managing agents serving PAP (People's Action Party) town councils are unwilling to serve as managing agents in non-PAP town councils, and that the reason appears to be political rather than professional," he said.

To illustrate his point, he said that although three companies collected documents in a public tender in 2012, only one made a bid.

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