AHTC must make sinking fund transfer by April 15

The town council run by the Workers' Party has been given an extension of the deadline for making an overdue transfer of money due to its sinking fund.

It has until April 15 to do so, said town council chairman Pritam Singh yesterday.

The Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) had been ordered by the Court of Appeal to make all outstanding transfers to its sinking fund by Feb 27. In January, AHTC told the court it had made the first of two transfers. But it was unable to make the remaining transfer by the given deadline.

Mr Singh said in a statement yesterday that the town council was given the extension on Wednesday. He also said AHTC has been working with the Ministry of National Development to receive the government grants for the fiscal years FY2014/15 and FY2015/16.

The ministry has withheld $14 million in operating grants to the town council, saying it will hand them over once safeguards are in place to ensure their proper use.

AHTC has been in a long-running dispute with the ministry and the Housing Board over the appointment of accountants to fix lapses in the town council. The matter was taken to court and the Court of Appeal ordered the town council on Nov 27 to appoint accountants to examine its books.

Earlier this week, AHTC said it would hire a team of accountants from KPMG to do the job. The accountants must submit their first monthly progress report to HDB by April 15, a deadline set by the court.

Lapses in the accounts were uncovered in a special audit by the Auditor-General's Office. It reported in February last year it had found major lapses in governance and compliance issues, including the failure to make timely sinking fund transfers.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2016, with the headline 'AHTC must make sinking fund transfer by April 15'. Print Edition | Subscribe