SINGAPORE - The Ministry of National Development's (MND) latest Town Council Management Report was released on Monday (May 30), with the majority of the 16 town councils scoring well in areas such as lift maintenance and estate cleanliness.
The report assessed all town councils under four indicators from April to September last year. Corporate governance was excluded as an indicator this time due to the shortened assessment period.
Each indicator uses three colour bands - green, amber and red - based on measurable objective criteria submitted by the town councils and their auditors.
Here are some things to know about the report and the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which were used.
1. Estate cleanliness
Town cleanliness was judged in areas such as the presence of litter, graffiti and human or animal faeces.
To earn a green score, the councils must tally fewer than four counts of each issue per block during the assessment period.
While all the town councils were given the top banding, stain/litter and dumped bulky refuse were the two most prevalent cleanliness observations in each estate.
Bulky refuse comprised a high of 43 per cent of cleanliness observations for Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council, and a low of 26 per cent in Ang Mo Kio and Marine Parade.
Out-of-reach corners seem to be an issue for estate cleaners: moss/cobwebs was the third-most common observation - hitting a high of 27 per cent in Potong Pasir.
Curiously, graffiti was at its highest in Chua Chu Kang (13 per cent), though it was a 2 per cent dip for the area from the previous assessment period.
2. Estate maintenance
Estate maintenance remains an area for improvement, with 11 town councils given an amber grading.
Obstruction of common areas was the top maintenance concern at all estates.
Unauthorised fixtures - such as blinds mounted as a sun shade - was the second-most common observation for all town councils. For Potong Pasir, it was the joint-top issue (25 per cent) along with obstruction of common areas.
Missing or damaged gratings/floor traps was also an unusually prevalent problem in Potong Pasir, accounting for 13 per cent of its maintenance observations.
For a green rating, a town council has to have less than four defects per block.
3. S&CC arrears
All except two town councils were marked green in S&CC arrears management.
Potong Pasir was banded yellow, the same as in 2014, while the Workers' Party-run Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council's (AHPETC) score was listed as pending due to the ongoing review by its auditor, KPMG.
To score green in S&CC arrears, this generally means that fewer than four in 100 households owe arrears for three months or more and less than 40 per cent of the monthly collectible S&CC for the town is overdue.
4. Lift performance
All town councils were marked green in lift performance, maintaining their unblemished record in this category since the colour-coded system was introduced in April 2012.
For the top banding, each estate must generally have fewer than two breakdowns for every 10 lifts per month, and fewer than two in 100 lifts with a non-functioning Automatic Rescue Device (ARD).
5. Top performers
Five town councils - Ang Mo Kio, Bishan-Toa Payoh, Marine Parade, Nee Soon and Sembawang - scored green in estate cleanliness, estate maintenance, lift performance and S&CC arrears management.
All these areas, except Bishan-Toa Payoh, had also notched top ratings in five indicators in the previous assessment period from April 2014 to May 2015.
6. Which town council made improvements, and which one saw its ratings drop?
Chua Chu Kang's rating in S&CC arrears management improved from amber for the preceding period to green. It remains in the amber zone for estate maintenance.
Tanjong Pagar, meanwhile, saw its estate maintenance rating drop from green to amber. This means between four and seven defects were uncovered per block in the estate.
7. Obstruction of common areas a widespread problem
The obstruction of common areas was the top estate maintenance issue at the national level, accounting for 36 per cent of total maintenance observations.
These include damaged pipes/walls and potential fire hazards which could hamper evacuation efforts during emergencies.
The report called for town councils to address this issue jointly with their residents.
Sembawang seems to have the biggest challenge, with 53 per cent of its maintenance observations linked to common-area obstructions.