The Aljunied Hougang Punggol East Town Council today published information to state its latest arrears for its service and conservancy charges (S&CC), which as of September 2014 currently stands at 5.66% of households for residential units and 7.24% for commercial units.
The town council, run by the opposition Worker’s Party, was earlier criticised by members of the governing People’s Action Party for not submitted its town council management data to the Ministry of National Development.
In particular, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong said that:
“The situation worsened sharply in April last year. AHPETC reported a spike in its S&CC arrears – nearly 30 per cent of its HDB residents and 50 per cent of its commercial units owed S&CC for three months or more. This was more than 10 times the national average for HDB residents; and more than 34 times for the commercial units.
The spike came suddenly, without warning. After that, silence. No more S&CC arrears reports at all, for 18 months now.”
AHPETC said that it currently lacks a fully operational computer system to assist with aggregating S&CC arrears reporting in the format required by MND. “In the absence of such a system, all reports submitted to MND before this were prepared by staff based on data generated by AHPETC’s IT system and extracted through manual sorting and counting,” said chairman Sylvia Lim.
“The arrears rate of 29.4% for April 2013 submitted to MND was an instance of reporting and human errors. An additional step of sorting to avoid double-counting of the same household was inadvertently omitted. A comparison of the arrears report submitted for March 2013 and April 2013 would have shown up the error, as the amount of arrears owed for 3 or more months for April 2013 came down by about $88,000 from March 2013, but the % of households in arrears of 3 or more months increased drastically from 7.42% for March 2013 to 29.4% for April 2013.”
Date Amount of Arrears 3 Mths and above Percentage of Accounts 3 Mths and above Mar-13
Difference $88,487 -21.95%
AHPETC added that the accuracy, integrity, monitoring and management of each individual S&CC account are not compromised in any way by the manual statistics reporting process, and that it has embarked on a roadmap in November 2014 to enhance its aggregated arrears reporting module.
“AHPETC will strive to make further improvements to better serve its residents. We thank our residents and the public for their patience and understanding in this matter.”
AHPETC’s full statement is available on the town council’s website.