Today, the Ministry of National Development (MND) announced that they are seeking the appointment of independent accountants in the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC). Along with this, MND will release the government grants for FY14 and FY15 to AHPETC as it is believed that the independent accountants are sufficient safeguard for public monies.
A middle path
While some might think this is a particularly intrusive method of fixing the town council, another way of looking at this is its taking a middle path in ensuring that there is accountability and proper governance while also ensuring that residents’ needs are met.
Better situation for the residents
Some opposition parties state that the withholding of S&CC grants can affect residents if AHPETC is unable to pay for key maintenance services. This is exactly why this move from MND is so important. It is about time that both sides got down to taking care of residents first and I’m glad that MND has taken the first step.
But what’s up in AHPETC?
However, questions do remain over the state of AHPETC’s financial affairs. The WP had supported the recent motion, noting with concern the findings from AGO’s report. While business may be going on as usual over in the North East, few are any wiser about their state of affairs. Ms Sylvia Lim has so far not answered queries and any defence has not been forthcoming. Well, with the appointment of the independent accountants, we will inevitably discover what went wrong (or right) in the Town Council.