The Workers’ Party-run town council, Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC), is seeking the Court of Appeal’s assistance in the appointment of accountants to manage its accounts and books.
The Straits Times reports on Saturday that “the application was made after the Housing Board (HDB), which oversees town councils, and AHTC were unable to agree on which accountant to appoint.”
This is the latest in the long drawn-out saga between the WP-run town council and the authorities, namely the Ministry of National Development (MND) and the Housing and Development Board (HDB).
In November, the apex court laid down its ruling that the the WP town council must appoint independent accountants to help it address shortcomings raised earlier by the Accountant General’s Report, and to make all outstanding transfers to its sinking fund within three months.
In its decision then, the Court of Appeal, whose judgment was delivered by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, said the appointment of the accountant would have to be approved by the HDB.
However, he also added that the HDB cannot unreasonably withhold its consent.
According to the Straits Times, the appointment of the accountant has now become another bone of contention in the saga.
Previously, the WP town council had appointed Business Assurance as its financial consultant.
The chairman of the WP town council, Pritam Singh, who has taken over from Ms Sylvia Lim after the September elections, said then that the town council accepted the Court of Appeal’s decision and assured the MND that “that government grants or grants-in-aid are used solely for the upkeep of the town and in the interests of all residents.”
“When contacted on Thursday, AHTC chairman Pritam Singh would only say the town council has applied to the Court of Appeal for further instructions,” the Straits Times reports on Saturday on the latest development.
“Both HDB and MND said it would not be appropriate to comment at this stage as the issue is now before the courts.”