fbpx

Confused by S&CC arrears management score?

Leong Sze Hian -

According to a Straits Times report [1], “Seven [PAP town councils said] they write off only a tiny amount of unpaid S&CC, typically around 0.1 per cent”.

The People’s Action Party (PAP) is responsible for 14 town councils.

Therefore, the obvious question to ask is, “What about the other seven PAP town councils?”

For all you know, one or more of the other seven may have written off much more than 0.1 per cent?

Why not disclose the write-offs of every town council, instead of just giving the example of Jurong, Hong Kah, Ang Mo Kio-Yio Chu Kang and Aljunied?

The Straits Times’ report says, “Aljunied’s annual report shows that it wrote off only $40,000 in the last financial year, 0.12 per cent of the $32 million to be collected.”

When I looked at the annual report, the Conservancy and Service Receivables Provision for impairment’s balance at the beginning of the year was $2,237,334.

Less the Provision no longer required of $885,078,  The Balance at the end of year is $1,357,093.

Why was the provision for the year only $4,837, which is about 99 per cent less than the previous year’s (2007/2008) $467,922?

What does “Provision no longer required” mean?  That the $885,078 have all been paid up or that this was written off?

Considering all of the above, does the good score for S&CC management still stand?

On 18 June, the Today newspaper reported [2] that some town councils are doing all kinds of things in an effort to improve their scores for the next Town Councils' Management Report (TCMR).

For example:

Tampines Town Council “initiated the derelict bicycle removal programme in January last year, tagging and removing abandoned bicycles. To date, the TC has combed 522 blocks and removed 1,252 bicycles.”

The Aljunied GRC Town Council “warned that its property officers will intensify efforts" to address the issue of corridor clutter and unauthorised structures. Today reported: “Advisories will be sent to errant residents and those who fail to comply after seven days will be served with warnings. If they fail to comply after 14 days, the TC will take more stringent action. This could mean issuing a summons to residents who cause "very bad" obstruction which may endanger the safety of other residents.”

The above begs the question: what have these town councils been doing all these years?

Were they in slumber, waiting for the TCMR and perhaps the incentive of better scores in the future before they woke up?

Are these town councils more interested in taking care of residents’ concerns or are they more concerned about looking good in a report?

-----------

[1]: “Only few arrears are written off – PAP town councils reject Low’s suggestion, saying they work hard to collect every cent”.

[2]: "Town councils out to score".

-----------

Note:

Incidentally, the Straits Times had two different headlines for its report. The headline for its online report did not carry the word "arrears", as opposed to its print edition. This is strange since the headline is in inverted commas, signifying a quote.

Both reports were carried on the same day - 17 June 2010.

Straits Times online:

Straits Times print edition: