SINGAPORE: The Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council’s (AHPETC) “persistent poor performance” in several areas is of “grave public concern”, the Ministry of National Development (MND) said.
The comments were made in the annual Town Council Management Report, released on Tuesday (Nov 4), which assesses the 16 town councils on five indicators – estate cleanliness, estate maintenance, lift performance, service and conservancy charges (S&CC) arrears management and corporate governance. The town councils’ performance is rated in three bands – green, amber or red.
In the latest report, the MND said most town councils performed well last year, although some “could do better” in certain areas.
Estate maintenance remains an area for improvement, with 11 town councils scoring “amber” in this category. The obstruction of common areas was the topmost observation, accounting for 32 per cent of total estate maintenance observations, the report said.
AHPETC BANDED “RED” IN TWO CATEGORIES
On AHPETC’s performance, MND said this is the second successive report that the Workers’ Party-led town council has been banded “red” for corporate governance, and the third successive report it has been banded “red” for S&CC arrears management.
Under corporate governance, the town council’s independent auditors for Financial Year (FY) 2011 and 2012 have reported various legal and regulatory contraventions, MND said.
“Unfortunately, the town council has not shown that it has rectified them. In fact, it has not submitted its FY13 financial statements and its self-declared corporate governance checklist,” MND said in the report.
Additionally, the sharp decline in AHPETC’s S&CC arrears management is of “grave public concern”, MND said. Aljunied’s S&CC arrears rose from 2.6 per cent in FY2010 to 8.4 per cent in FY2011 and FY 2012 – after Aljunied merged with Hougang – significantly above the national norm of about 3 per cent, the report said.
In December 2012, the town council committed to improve its arrears situation. However, its S&CC arrears rate had further increased to 29.4 per cent as at end-April 2013, the report said. It added that the town council stopped submitting its monthly S&CC arrears report from May 2013, despite repeated reminders.