The Ministry of National Development (MND) has presented the audited financial statements of Year 2016 of all Town Councils (TCs) to Parliament and the ministry will be making them available on its website.
According to MND, all TCs had unqualified financial statements for year 2016, except for Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) whose financial statements were qualified by the TC’s external auditor. The auditor had issued disclaimers as it was unable to ascertain the TC’s opening balances, payables and accrued expenses, or verify staff costs.
"This is the 6th consecutive year that AHTC has received qualified financial statements from its external auditor," MND stated.
Results of the FY2016 Town Council Management Report
MND has also released the Town Council Management Report (TCMR), covering the period April 2016 to March 2017. This is the first TCMR for the TCs formed after the 2015 General Election.
It noted that the TCs were assessed under five indicators, using three colour bands. Assessment was based on measurable objective criteria submitted by the TCs and their auditors.
MND stated that there are broad observations for the indicators.
For Estate Cleanliness, all TCs were banded “Green” as they had less than 4 counts of cleanliness observations per block on average.
Four TCs were banded “Green” and 12 TCs were banded “Amber” for Estate Maintenance. TCs which had less than 4 counts of maintenance observations per block on average were banded “Green”, while TCs which had 4 to less than 8 counts of maintenance observations per block on average were banded “Amber”.
For Lift Performance, all TCs were banded “Green” as there were fewer than 2 breakdowns every month for every 10 lifts managed by the TCs, and the lifts' ARD failure rate was zero.
As for S&CC Arrears Management, AHTC was banded “Amber” for FY2016.
The former Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East TC’s score for the previous TCMR was reflected as “Pending” last year, pending the outcome of KPMG’s review. Based on the revised year 2015's monthly S&CC arrears figures submitted by the TC to MND subsequently, the TC was banded “Red” in the FY2015 TCMR.
For Corporate Governance, AHTC was banded “Red” due to three non-compliances with the TCFR.
According to the MND, the non-compliances were due to the late quarterly transfer to the sinking fund, waiver of quotation that was not in accordance with requirements under the TCFR, and fixed assets count report not certified by the TC in accordance with the requirements under the TCFR.
While, Ang Mo Kio TC was banded “Amber” as the TC had not sought approval from the correct approving authority for the waiver of quotations as required under the TCFR.
AHTC in its response to the grading, stressed that the S&CC Arrears Management has improved from its previous red bandings.
It also added that it has been banded red for Corporate Governance as three observations were made by its statutory auditor, Audit Alliance, in the Town Council’s FY 16/17 Financial Statements, adding that in order to move out of the red band for Corporate Governance, it cannot have more than 2 audit observations in its financial statements.
AHTC has also appointed Baker Tilly Consultancy (Singapore) Pte Ltd as internal auditor for a two-year term to check on its internal control procedures.