On 24 October 2016, Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council (PRPTC) had applied for its accountants, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), appointed with HDB’s consent, to have unlimited access to and use of the documents of Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) that had relevance to the administration of Punggol SMC. Punggol East SMC had been managed by AHTC from May 2013 to November 2015.
The Court of Appeal delivered its decision on 28 October 2016.
In its decision, the Court recognised the principle that AHTC may have a right to protect the confidentiality of those parts of the documents that do not relate to Punggol East constituency and which also relate in an aggregated way to other parts of the town formerly under the purview of Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council. AHTC had told the Court that its concerns included non-public information about contractors, residents and staff, as well as proprietary information.
While the Court found that the concerns put forth by AHTC were too generic to be considered, AHTC is nevertheless assured that the Court order has placed a non-disclosure obligation on PRPTC. The Court has now ordered that PRPTC does not have unfettered use of AHTC’s information. PRPTC is not allowed to disclose or use such information except for compliance with the Court’s judgment or in PRPTC’s discharge of its statutory duties, except with the leave of the court.
AHTC has been directed to give access to all the relevant documents to PRPTC by 4 November 2016. To this end, AHTC has contacted PwC to start their work at AHTC’s premises commencing Monday 31 October 2016.
ALJUNIED-HOUGANG TOWN COUNCIL
28 Oct 2016