MEDIA RELEASE: MND’s FY2017 TCMR
We refer to the Ministry of National Development (MND)’s press release, Town Councils’ FY2017 Financial Statements and the FY2017 Town Council Management Report dated 14 December 2018.
For FY2017, MND has issued to Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) green ratings for Estate Cleanliness, Lift Performance and S&CC Arrears Management, and amber ratings for Estate Maintenance and Corporate Governance. We are pleased to note that, by MND’s own criteria, AHTC’s performance over the recent years in the areas of S&CC Arrears Management and Corporate Governance has progressively improved (Please see Annex below for the comparative TCMR results for FY2017, FY2016 and FY2013). This was achieved through the significant efforts of AHTC and its residents, despite the many challenges faced.
MND’s press release on the qualification received by AHTC from its external auditor is, unfortunately, selective and incomplete. In describing AHTC’s amber rating for Corporate Governance, MND’s press release states a “(f)ailure to maintain updated accounts and records of expenses…incurred in a timely manner. This was also the reason why the auditor had qualified AHTC’s financial statements.”
What MND omits to say on this observation, but was included by AHTC’s external auditor, is that the expenses in question “are found to have been taken up into expenses and the related payables during the financial year” and that “there are no material misstatements found in the expenses and related payable transactions during the financial year.”
In contrast, when describing Tampines Town Council’s amber rating for Corporate Governance, MND chose an even-handed and balanced tone, stating: “Tampines – Incorrect amount transferred from the Operating Fund to the Sinking Fund and Lift Replacement Fund. The TC had identified the computational error and rectified it, but it is still considered as a case of non-compliance as the correct amount was not transferred within one month after the end of the quarter.” (bold emphasis ours)
In its press release of 14 December 2018, MND also states that “this is the 7th consecutive year AHTC has received qualified statements from its external auditor”. While this is factually correct, the impression given is that AHTC has stood still for 7 years. From 13 observations flagged in 2012-13, AHTC has received just one observation this financial year. We believe MND’s specific reference to 7 consecutive years is deliberately calculated to lower the esteem of AHTC in the public eye.
ALJUNIED-HOUGANG TOWN COUNCIL
14 December 2018