Timeline of Workers' Party town council saga

FEB 10, 2014: Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) submits its audited FY2012/13 accounts to the Minister for National Development six months late and after seven reminders.

FEB 13: The Ministry of National Development (MND) expresses concern that it is the second year that AHPETC's auditors had made a submission with a note saying they were unable to fully verify the accounts.

FEB 14: AHPETC chairman Sylvia Lim says the MND's statement is incomplete and misleading, as the Workers' Party (WP) has not been able to get data from the former managing agent after it took over Aljunied GRC in 2011, as well as from the authorities like the MND.

MND points out that the auditors raised 13 issues of concern, four of which were made a year earlier and which AHPETC had promised to fix but had not.

The remaining nine issues, such as its failure to transfer monies to the sinking fund, have nothing to do with handover issues.

 

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FEB 19: Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam directs the Auditor-General's Office (AGO) to audit AHPETC's accounts.

MARCH 7: AHPETC is given a red grade, the worst rating, for corporate governance, in a government report on the performance of town councils.

NOV 5: The annual town council report shows AHPETC is the only one to get red scores, for corporate governance (second year in a row) and service and conservancy charge (S&CC) arrears management (third year running).

NOV 7: Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee says AHPETC's finances may be worse than stated. Its shocking arrears rate of 29.4 per cent means 39,000 households are subsidising 16,000 households that did not pay their S&CC.

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NOV 10: Ms Lim says AHPETC is studying the data on its overdue S&CC and will address the issues after the AGO completes the audit of its financial statements.

She says AHPETC was unable to submit S&CC reports required by MND as its finance team was preparing documents for the AGO.

NOV 13: MND points out that AHPETC stopped submitting monthly S&CC arrears reports after April 2013.

DEC 5: A WP tender for a managing agent for AHPETC closes after three weeks without a bid from any company, including its current agent.

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DEC 9: Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong says WP's continuing silence on AHPETC's poor performance rating suggests bigger problems.

DEC 10: Ms Lim replies that AHPETC has already explained to MND its problems in submitting reports. She adds that "more productive discussions can be entered into" after the AGO's findings.

DEC 11: MND's Mr Lee says WP's failure to give answers calls into question its leaders' reputation and integrity.

DEC 12: Ms Lim reiterates that it will account for AHPETC's handling of the S&CC arrears and adds that WP will leave the matter for the people to judge.

JAN 14, 2015: WP takes steps to collect some S&CC it is owed.

JAN 26: WP says human error accounts for AHPETC's erroneous reporting of a high arrears rate. AHPETC's latest S&CC arrears rate as of end-September last year is 5.66 per cent for homes, and 7.24 per cent for businesses.