SINGAPORE: All town councils have submitted unqualified financial statements for the previous financial year, except for Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC), said the Ministry of National Development (MND) on Monday (Nov 20).
AHTC's financial statements were qualified by the town council's external auditor, said MND in the press release.
"The auditor had issued disclaimers as it was unable to ascertain the town council’s opening balances, payables and accrued expenses, or verify staff costs.
"This is the sixth consecutive year that AHTC has received qualified financial statements from its external auditor," said MND.
MND also released the FY2016 Town Council Management Report which assesses the councils' performance from April last year to March this year.
This is the first report for the 16 town councils formed after the 2015 General Election and they were assessed under five indicators, using three colour bands.
All scored "Green" for estate cleanliness and lift performance, despite reports of lift breakdowns in recent months. Town councils qualify for the top rating if there were, on average, fewer than four counts of "cleanliness observations" per block.
For lift performance, there were fewer than two breakdowns every month for every 10 lifts in the estates and the lifts' ARD (Lift Automatic Rescue Device) failure rate was zero, MND said.
The ARD brings the lift car to the nearest lift landing during a power failure.
However, only four town councils scored "green" for estate maintenance - Ang Mo Kio, Nee Soon, Sembawang and Tanjong Pagar. The other 12 estates scored "amber".
An amber score means that, on average, there were between four and eight counts of "maintenance observations" per block.
All town councils except AHTC also got the top rating of "green" for arrears management. MND added that Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council, whose score was pending the outcome of a KPMG review, was banded "red" for FY2015.
Punggol East is now under the management of Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council.
In the category of corporate governance, AHTC scored "red" while Ang Mo Kio got an "amber" rating.
According to MND, AHTC was banded “red” due to three non-compliances with the Town Councils Financial Rules (TCFR):
(i) Late quarterly transfer to the sinking fund;
(ii) Waiver of quotation that was not in accordance with requirements under the TCFR;
(iii) Fixed assets count report not certified by the town council in accordance with the requirements under the TCFR.
"AHTC has reviewed our statutory auditor’s comments. We will strive to keep all inadvertent administrative errors to a minimum and comply with the TCFR," the town council said in a statement on Monday.
Ang Mo Kio was banded “amber” as the town council had not sought approval from the correct approving authority for the waiver of quotations as required under the TCFR.