WP hits back, as spat with AIM continues

The Workers' Party has hit back at the IT company servicing PAP town councils, questioning again the contract for software management it has with Action Information Management (Aim).

In a statement released on Friday, the chairman of the WP-run Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) Ms Sylvia Lim asked how public interest was served when the PAP town councils sold a computerised town council management system to Aim.

Ms Lim, who is also WP chairman, took aim at comments on Monday by PAP town councils' coordinating chairman Dr Teo Ho Pin, and Aim's chairman S Chandra Das.

They had defended the handover of the system as in line with financial regulations and the law.

Ms Lim said: "It is regrettable that both Dr Teo's and Mr Das' statements have been calculated to side-step the most critical question of how the public interest was served when the PAP-managed Town Councils, which developed the computing and financial systems at significant cost and co-owned them, sold them off to a third party which could exercise rights of termination if there was a 'material change' in the composition of a town council.

"What justification was there for the Town Councils to relinquish ownership and leave the continuity of Town Council operations at the mercy of a third party? Residents all over Singapore have a right to know."

Ms Lim then took issue with Aim being fully-owned by the PAP.

"In other words, the PAP-managed Town Councils saw it fit to sell away their ownership of the systems, developed with public funds, to a political party, which presumably could act in its own interests when exercising its rights to terminate the contracts."

The controversy began earlier this month when a town council management review gave AHTC the lowest banding for arrears management and did not rate its corporate governance as its auditor's management letter had not been submitted in time.

Ms Lim blamed the poor showing on the need to replicate a new computer and financial system after Aim terminated its services. Aim responded and a war of words have been going on since then.

In her statement today, Ms Lim also said AHTC was fortunate to leverage on WP-run Hougang's town council system, which has been developed and in use for more than a decade.

She said: "If anything, this episode clearly demonstrates the risks to Singaporeans of having a lack of alternatives in every sense."

>> Next: The Workers' Party's statement in full

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