Jurong-Clementi to hire managers directly

The town council chairman, Mr Ang Wei Neng, said that the council has directly hired eight key executives - one general manager and seven property managers, to oversee staff from its managing agent.
The town council chairman, Mr Ang Wei Neng, said that the council has directly hired eight key executives - one general manager and seven property managers, to oversee staff from its managing agent.PHOTO: ST FILE

From February next year, the Jurong-Clementi Town Council will trial a new way of managing its housing estates.

The town council chairman, Mr Ang Wei Neng, told The Straits Times yesterday the council has directly hired eight key executives - one general manager and seven property managers, one for each ward - to oversee staff from its managing agent.

This hybrid model will give MPs in the town greater control over town operations, said Mr Ang, an MP for Jurong GRC.

Currently, the key staff at most town councils are often also employees of the managing agent.

Under the new model, staff from the managing agent will report to these eight executives, who in turn will be under the direct supervision of the Member of Parliament in the area, Mr Ang said.

These town council executives will be able to give an "unbiased evaluation" of any tender bids submitted by companies that might be linked to the managing agent, he said.

The new management system will start in February, when the current contract with the town's managing agent - Cushman & Wakefield - expires.

The Jurong-Clementi Town Council oversees housing estates in Jurong GRC, Yuhua SMC and Bukit Batok SMC.

Mr Ang said planning for the new management system started months ago.

"We have been thinking about it for quite some time. Direct staff will be more in line with the MPs' plans to implement policies as opposed to the managing agent, which has other interests to balance - whether financial or operational," he said.

Asked whether the model would be replicated elsewhere, Mr Ang said other People's Action Party town councils will be studying what happens closely.

"It's too early to say, but they are very keen to look at our model and see whether it works for the better," he said.

Danson Cheong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 31, 2016, with the headline 'Jurong-Clementi to hire managers directly'. Print Edition | Subscribe