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All town councils had unqualified financial statements for FY2019

All town councils had unqualified financial statements for FY2019

A view of HDB blocks and condominiums in Singapore on Jun 27, 2019. (File photo: Reuters/Kevin Lam)

SINGAPORE: All town councils had unqualified financial statements for the financial year of 2019, the Ministry of National Development (MND) said on Monday (Mar 15).

An unqualified financial statement indicates that the report gives a fair view of the organisation's financial affairs.

MND said in a statement that it has presented the FY2019 audited financial statements of the 16 pre-General Election 2020 town councils to Parliament. MND has also released the FY2019 Town Council Management Reports (TCMR) for April 2019 to March 2020.

There was a delay in the statements and the publication of the FY2019 Town Council Management Report results due to the "circuit breaker" period in 2020, the ministry said.

In the management report, town councils are assessed on five indicators, using three colour bands - green, amber and red. The five areas are estate cleanliness, estate maintenance, lift performance, Service & Conservancy Charges (S&CC) arrears management and corporate governance. 

"The results of the FY2019 TCMR are comparable with that of previous years, with improvements observed in the area of Estate Cleanliness," said MND.

Thirteen town councils were banded "Green" on all five indicators.

For estate cleanliness, all town councils were banded “Green” as there were fewer than four counts of cleanliness observations per block on average. 

All were also banded green for lift performance. This means there were fewer than two breakdowns every month for every 10 lifts managed by the town councils, and the lifts’ ARD (Automatic Rescue Device) failure rate was zero. 

The ARD brings the lift car to the nearest lift landing during a power failure.

WHERE TOWN COUNCILS SCORED AMBER

Aljunied-Hougang and Tampines town councils were banded “Amber” for estate maintenance and the rest were "Green". 

Town councils that had fewer than four counts of maintenance observations per block were banded “Green”, while town councils that had four to fewer than eight maintenance observations per block on average were banded “Amber”.

Chua Chu Kang town council was banded “Amber” for S&CC arrears management, while the other 15 town councils were banded “Green”.

To be in the Green band, the overdue monthly S&CC should be less than 40 per cent and fewer than four in 100 households should owe arrears for three months or more.

Chua Chu Kang town council was banded “Amber” as it had 40 per cent to less than 50 per cent of the monthly collectible S&CC for the town overdue. The households that owed arrears for three months or more remained at fewer than four in 100 households.

Fifteen town councils were banded “Green” for corporate governance while Tampines town council was banded “Amber” due to one count of non-compliance with the Town Council Financial Rules. 

Tampines town council had under-transferred the amount due to the sinking and lift replacement funds for one quarter due to a computation error. It corrected the shortfall in the next quarterly transfer, said MND.

Source: Ministry of National Development

MND said that it has suspended the FY2020 management report assessment for the town councils and will not be publishing a report for the period from April 2020 to March 2021. 

"This is in view of the disruption faced by the town councils during the circuit breaker period as well as the changes to the town councils following GE2020 in July last year," said the ministry. 

"The suspension also allows for clear accountability of the results when the TCMR assessment resumes from FY2021 (from April 2021)."

From FY2021, MND will publish the Town Council Management Report in two reports - one covering the operational indicators (Estate Cleanliness, Estate Maintenance, Lift Performance and S&CC Arrears Management) to be published in May or June each year, and one covering the Corporate Governance indicator to be published in November or December each year. 

They will be based on the new town areas after GE2020, covering 17 town councils for the period of April 2021 to March 2022.

Source: CNA/hm(ac)

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