Key dates

MAY 2011: Workers' Party (WP) wins Aljunied GRC and retains Hougang in the general election.

AUGUST 2011: WP formally takes over the running of Aljunied-Hougang Town Council. AHTC appoints FM Solutions and Services (FMSS) as its managing agent on a one-year contract.

APRIL 2012: WP calls for a tender for managing agent services, and only FMSS submits a bid.

JANUARY 2013: WP wins Punggol East in a by-election.

FEBRUARY 2013: AHTC becomes Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC).

FEBRUARY 2014: Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam directs the Auditor-General's Office (AGO) to audit AHPETC's accounts after independent auditors raise questions over its financial statements.

FEBRUARY 2015: The AGO releases a special report on major lapses at AHPETC, including the management of sinking funds and governance of related party transactions leading to conflicts of interest. The report is debated in Parliament.

SEPTEMBER 2015: WP retains Aljunied GRC by a smaller margin than in 2011, and Hougang, but loses Punggol East in the general election.

OCTOBER 2015: Punggol East becomes part of Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council (PRPTC). AHPETC is reconstituted as AHTC.

NOVEMBER 2015: The Court of Appeal orders AHTC to appoint accountants who are subject to the Housing Board's approval.

OCTOBER 2016: Audit firm KPMG, appointed by AHTC to look into its books, issues a report noting that $33,717,535 in payments to FMSS and service provider FM Solutions and Integrated Services (FMSI) were co-signed by conflicted persons or FMSS employees. AHTC denies that there was a "significant lack of oversight" over its managing agent.

FEBRUARY 2017: Following KPMG's report, an independent panel chaired by Senior Counsel Philip Jeyaretnam is appointed by AHTC to look into improper payments made by the town council.

MAY 2017: Accounting firm PwC releases a report that calls into question the propriety of all payments made under FMSS. PwC had been brought in by PRPTC to review past payments made by then AHPETC in relation to Punggol East.

JULY 2017: AHTC, under the independent panel's direction, initiates legal action against town councillors, including WP chief Low Thia Khiang and party chairman Sylvia Lim. It asks them to account for more than $33 million in payments made to FMSS and service provider FMSI, saying that these payments are null and void as the councillors had acted in breach of their fiduciary duties. The Workers' Party MPs have denied the allegations, saying they acted in the best interests of residents.

Joanna Seow

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 28, 2017, with the headline 'Key dates'. Print Edition | Subscribe